Cycling benefits kid’s health

2016-10-04 06:00
The Pedal Power Association in conjunction with the Bicycle Empowerment Network (BEN) launched a safe cycling school programme at Bergsig Primary School last week.

The Pedal Power Association in conjunction with the Bicycle Empowerment Network (BEN) launched a safe cycling school programme at Bergsig Primary School last week.

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With the obesity statistics among children on the increase, it is important to get youngsters back on bikes safely to improve their health and fitness levels.

The Pedal Power Association in conjunction with the Bicycle Empowerment Network (BEN) launched a safe cycling school programme at Bergsig Primary School, Bonteheuwel, on the Cape Flats last week.

“For more than 40 years the PPA has been promoting cycling and the interests of cyclists,” says CEO of the PPA, Robert Vogel.

“We believe that everyone should ride a bicycle every day, be it to school, work, to the shops or just for fun,” he says.

“We are proud to be involved with the safe cycling school programme as the safety of our children on bicycles is of utmost importance to us,” says Vogel.

“The number of children cycling to school alone has rapidly decreased over the past few decades, largely because parents worry about traffic danger. We want to teach children about road safety and encourage parents to cycle with their children. Once your child is confident on their bike, getting them used to cycle on roads with dedicated cycle lanes, will improve their confidence and fitness.” he explains.

The cycling programme consists of a theoretical lesson on all elements of safe cycling followed by a practical session of riding bicycles in a controlled environment on the school grounds.

“Bicycles are a fun, eco-friendly and affordable way to get you where you need to be but children need to be educated on safety when cycling,” explains Tim Mosdell, general manager of BEN.

“Bicycles are for everyone, no matter your age.”

PPA, South Africa’s largest cycling organisation, launched the very successful ‘Cyclists Stay Alive at 1.5’ campaign back in 2011 which resulted in a 1-metre passing law which was promulgated in 2013 in the Western Cape.

In 2014, the PPA launched the ‘Stay wider of the rider’ campaign that urges motorists to pass cyclists at a safe distance of at least one metre or more with the aim being to create awareness on the roads about how vulnerable cyclists are.

The safety of all cyclists on our roads is our top priority,” says Vogel, who plans to launch the safe cycling school programme nationally.V Should you wish to involve your school with the programme, send an email to info@pedalpower.org.za. For more information on the organisations visit the websites www.pedalpower.org.za and www.benbikes.org.za.


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