Pre-schoolers ‘learn to ride’ thanks to SureStart and Balanceability

Enjoying the Balanceability learn-to-cycle course.
Enjoying the Balanceability learn-to-cycle course.

Hundreds of pre-school children in Portadown will be given learn-to-cycle training as part of

a campaign to improve skills and help them get more active.

Blossom SureStart has become the first centre in Northern Ireland to secure funding from

the Southern Health and Social Care Trust to purchase ‘Balanaceability’ bikes and equipment.

Six staff will receive dedicated training, providing them with the knowledge and skills to

deliver the Balanceability learn-to-cycle course to children as young as three years-old.

“Obesity in children is a big issue and one of the key ways of meeting this challenge head-on

is to make sure they are more active. This can reduce health risks, as well as improving

motor skills and academic performance,” explained Samantha Wright, Sales Manager at

Balanceability.

“Riding your bike is fun and brilliant for keeping fit. The sooner we can get more young

people to embrace it the better and this programme - with Blossom SureStart - could be a

blueprint for other centres to follow.”

She continued: “Pre-schoolers from across the area now have the chance to train on special

12” Balanceability bikes as part of our course. This will build their core strengths and motor

neurone skills.”

Balanceability has been specially designed with child development experts and cycling professionals so that all children have the opportunity to learn to ride a bike.

After the initial training course, Blossom SureStart staff will be able to help children develop static and dynamic balance, how to pick up and manoeuvre a bike, how to glide and safely stop.

Blossom SureStart’s Keith McAdam added his support: “We are always looking for new and

innovative ways to get our pre-schoolers out and active. Balanceability certainly provides us

with that opportunity.”