Play on Pedals celebrates community champion in Drumchapel

Play on Pedals celebrates community champion in Drumchapel

Play on Pedals has come a long way since it was launched to coincide with Bike Week last year. The project, which aims to enable pre-school children across Glasgow to learn how to ride a bike before starting school, now has over 125 Instructors training over 650 children and has started to have a real impact on the lives of young people in the city.

Play on Pedals was awarded £231,957 from players of People’s Postcode Lottery through the Dream Fund in 2014. The project, which is a partnership between CTC, the national cycling charity, Cycling Scotland, the Glasgow Bike Station and Play Scotland, was recognised by Glasgow city council as a community based Commonwealth Games legacy project delivering a very positive legacy pre and post-Games and has expanded rapidly over its first year, delivering a variety of training and resources to facilitate children’s access to cycling opportunities. The project was piloted in Castlemilk and has since spread across much of the city. However, Drumchapel is one area which has seen a recent flurry of Play on Pedals activity, largely thanks to the hard work and commitment of one individual volunteer.

Already active with a number of voluntary projects about healthy living for families and young children, Anne Glass is an enthusiastic and engaged member of her local community. Having heard about the Play on Pedals project through an article online, she was initially keen to be trained as an Instructor but over the last five months, has taken on much more to develop cycling in Drumchapel.

Her Healthy Tots, Happy Tots group, funded by Save the Children and later by Comic Relief to encourage healthy lifestyles and activities, has partnered with Drumchapel LIFE to become one of two local Play on Pedals ‘Hero Organisations’, alongside voluntary-led bike shop Wheel Fix It. Together with individuals from these organisations, Anne has championed the Play on Pedals project – coordinating training days, delivering regular sessions to over 30 children and promoting the project at family fun days and early years networking events.

She is a trained Karate coach, currently studying Sport and Fitness through the Open University and sees Play on Pedals as a great way to combine all her interests:

With Play on Pedals, I can develop my coaching skills and trial methods I have been learning in university. I hope to become an Instructor Trainer and integrate this into other sessional sports coaching I can deliver. During the Play on Pedals sessions, we have developed new balance games, incorporating the martial arts and yoga training I have into a fun and diverse physical activity hour with the children. I am working alongside the nursery staff to plan sessions which we both deliver and I am also submitting work and observations about Play on Pedals for my university degree.’

Drumchapel now has 14 trained Instructors delivering in 11 different establishments and supported by two Hero Organisations. These Hero Organisations have been providing additional maintenance sessions, loan of adult bikes to Instructors and will take part in the city-wide Bike Amnesty being coordinated by Play on Pedals during June. Talking about future plans for Drumchapel’s Play on Pedals, Anne said:

‘We are planning to ensure Play on Pedals reaches as many children as possible in Drumchapel by taking it to family summer events and play schemes as well as supporting training across all nurseries. Already we have seen huge changes with children going through the programme and nursery staff are really keen to keep delivering so we will work with Wheel Fix It to make sure they have access to bikes. We are also working with 3D Drumchapel to encourage parents to get involved – particularly through their work with dads in the community.’

Play on Pedals will be at various events during Bike Week, including the Glasgow Bike Station’s Family Cycle event on Saturday 20th June - more information can be found on the Glasgow Bike Station website.

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