Cycling opportunities go up a gear for Leeds children

Children and young people across Leeds are being encouraged to get into the Tour de France spirit with a series of cycling themed events and challenges throughout the spring and summer term.

With the Grand Départ taking place in Leeds on 5 July, work has been underway to create a number of cycling-related projects and activities to encourage children and young people to enjoy and celebrate the spectacle of the biggest annual global sporting event when it comes to Yorkshire, as well as encouraging them to adopt long-term healthy lifestyles.

One of the biggest of these events is the Leeds Schools Cycle Challenge, which all primary schools and Specialist Inclusive Learning Centres (SILCs) have been encouraged to sign up to. Taking place at Temple Newsam Park on Tuesday 1 July, the event will bring together children from right across the city in the week leading up to the Grand Départ. There will be races suitable for all ages and abilities including a scooter race and an adapted cycle race.

Secondary school students will not miss out though – a Secondary School Games Cycling Competition has been organised to take place at Leeds West Academy and Rodillian Academy in May. Winners will qualify for the West Yorkshire Summer Games at Leeds Metropolitan University in July.

Cycling opportunities are also being made available at three of Leeds City Council’s education and activity centres. Lineham Farm, Herd Farm and the Lazer Activity Centre are all hosting a range of cycling experiences including an on-site cycle challenge, all terrain mountain bike rides, BMX challenges, races, cycle maintenance and safety workshops. Herd Farm is also offering residential cycling activity programmes for school groups, giving unique and inspirational cycling educational experiences in a safe and beautiful setting. Pupils will have the opportunity to take on cycling challenges at the centre and the surrounding area, including the Harewood estate.

Children and young people with disabilities can also make the most of the cycling opportunities on offer, with accessible cycling at Herd Farm and Lineham Farm, and adapted bike sessions at John Charles Centre for Sport.

Primary and secondary schools are also being invited to take part in the Leeds Schools Active Travel Project with the council’s travelwise team. Participating schools will take part in a number of activities over five weeks including Bikeability training, road safety training and walking and scooting weeks.

Councillor Judith Blake, executive board member responsible for children’s services said:

“There’s no excuse not to get on your bike this year! With all of these fantastic opportunities available, children and young people in Leeds are really going to get into the Tour de France spirit.

“Making Leeds a child friendly city is about putting children at the heart of everything we do. We couldn’t have such an important event happen in our city and not make sure children and young people are involved and able to share this fantastic experience, now and for many years to come thanks to the lasting legacy of the tour.”

Leeds Children’s Mayor, Charlotte Williams said:

“I think these are great opportunities for the children of Leeds to get involved in and hopefully we can create a city where cycling to work and school is normal.”

As well as sporting events, Leeds City Council and its partners have also arranged a series of cycling-orientated cultural and arts based events including:

• Le Grand Départ animation competition - a special category for Leeds schools as part of the Animation14 competition.

• A design a flowerbed competition with a Tour de France theme – closing date is 31 March.

• A film competition for primary and secondary pupils being run by Sustrans

• French theatre and partnership day at City of Leeds School on 16 June.

• Music festival – three days of music 23 to 25 June, organised by Leeds City Council’s music and arts service Artforms.

• Be Inspired by Yorkshire – Le Tour de France Arts Award Programme 2014 – Cape UK is recruiting 20 schools to be involved in a partnership with arts and cultural organisations based around the Grand Départ.

• Lignuastars – a two-day residential at Leeds University, aimed at year 12 pupils who are interested in studying foreign languages.

Information about the Tour de France Grand Départ in Leeds is available at www.leeds.gov.uk/granddepartleeds and people can follow us on Twitter @CyclingLeeds


Contact details for each event / activity or competition:

• Le Grand Départ animation competition further information and competition rules can be found at http://animation14.cs.manchester.ac.uk/

• Cape UK Le Tour De France Arts Awards Programme – ginny.scholey@capeuk.org www.artsaward.org.uk

• Bonjour! Film your tour - www.sustrans.org.uk/tdfschools

• Design a flowerbed competition – Richard Gill on 0113 2375301 richard.gill@leeds.gov.uk

• Herd Farm – 0113 3930012 herdfarm@leeds.gov.uk

• Lineham Farm – 0113 2300959 penny.lowe@leeds.gov.uk

• John Charles Centre for Sport – 0113 395000 jccs@leeds.gov.uk

• Armley Lazer Centre – 0113 3367414 leon.reed@leeds.gov.uk

• Linguastars – e.r.harper@leeds.ac.uk

• French theatre and partnerships day – Karen.murgatroyd@leeds.gov.uk

• Music Festival – Leeds Artforms educ.artforms@leeds.gov.uk


For media enquiries, please contact:

Emma Whittell, Leeds City Council press office, on (0113) 2474713

Email: emma.whittell@leeds.gov.uk