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Success is Racking Up
Wednesday 10th February, 2010

Two teachers are on the rack at Shevington High. But don’t worry, it’s for the good of their health!

PE teachers Peter Crookes and John Wright are eager to develop a school bike club. Together with Shevington’s healthy schools co-ordinator Diane Fairhurst, they are part of the school’s travel plan initiative, working with the council’s transport experts. And now Shevington High has its own gleaming new cycle racks and the two eager PE teachers are keeping the wheels in motion by signing up to become National Standard Cycle Instructors.

Cllr Susan Loudon, Wigan Council’s champion for young people, says: “Every school must have a travel plan in place by this March, and by doing so, we can encourage walking and cycling as everyday activities and reduce childhood obesity levels. Well done to the whole school and its travel team for taking the lead.”

A school travel plan grant of nearly £10,000, with 50 per cent match funding from the council, enabled the new cycle rack and a safe lighting system to be installed. And the instructor course will allow the two teachers to train at least 45 pupils over the next 3 years to National Standard Level 2. All this comes following a successful road safety week which included Years 7 to 9 designing posters. The best design, as judged by the Head and the School Council, was by Courtney Bainbridge and won the Year 8 girl a brand new bike.

Diane Fairhurst, healthy school co-ordinator, added: “With a busy road close by and many pupils keen to cycle here, we’re really happy to work with the council’s Sustainable Modes of Travel to School Strategy and the Active Travel agenda.”

Pupils from all the school’s year groups have working with the council’s road safety experts to ensure they are aware of the dangers such as speeding traffic and walking whilst talking on their mobile phone or listening to their iPods.

The council’s deputy leader and environment champion, Cllr David Molyneux, adds: “Shevington High School is an excellent example of how the School Travel Plan can work to encourage and promote Active Travel. By encouraging pupils to walk and cycle more, congestion around school is greatly reduced and pupils are healthier, more awake and able to concentrate better in class. Walking and cycling are not only fun, but lead to healthier lifestyles and can help reduce obesity levels.

For more information on Wigan Council’s Sustainable School Travel Strategy and walking, cycling and public transport options for your school - visit www.wigan.gov.uk/schooltravel.

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