Primary pupils to pedal to skool

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Young cyclists in the Borders are being encouraged to make the most of their bikes by saddling up for a new initiative.

Jointly organised by the Borders Cycling Development Group, Scottish Cycling and Live Borders, top local coaches will put the primary school-aged kids through their paces – and give them a chance to gain a certificate at one of six levels.

The programme will run over four sessions in various areas across the region – Peebles, Lauder, Tweedbank, Earlston, Lauder, Kelso, Duns, Jedburgh and Hawick, starting on Monday, May 1.

Chris Bryant of the Borders Cycling Development Group, said: “The Skills Award scheme is new for 2017 and we are very much looking forward to delivering it in Borders.

“The scheme is similar to a swim or gym badge scheme, with riders who have demonstrated key competencies during their coached sessions being given certificates at an appropriate level.

“Subsequent cycle sport programmes will require riders to possess certain abilities which will help ensure a higher quality of opportunity can be offered to participants. It is hoped that clubs can use this scheme to ‘benchmark’ new members.”

Cycle Skool is open to all primary school children and is a great way to develop their confidence and competence when on a bike, or give them the experience they need to progress to more advanced programmes offered by Live Borders and local cycling clubs.

Sessions will consist of quality coaching, covering aspects of all levels, focusing on teaching riders basic bike-handling skills in a safe environment, progressing to techniques used in racing and off-road riding.

All riders must be able to ride a bike (mount, set off and stop using brakes) unassisted. Children can join in at the level most appropriate for their age and level of ability.

Each rider will get a certificate upon completion of every level, giving them the desire and motivation to keep riding.

The sessions consist of two four-week blocks and cost £14 per block.

Participants must bring their own bike and helmet, and be able to ride their bike, which must have two operational brakes.

For more information, contact Live Borders 01896 661166 or email