On Thursday 11th May, Beacon Primary Academy joined forces with the Ryan Smith Foundation to hold a launch event for their new Balanceability programme.
Nearly half of the UK’s children are unable to ride a bike by the time they turn six due to increased pressures of modern lifestyles. Through a fun and safe introduction to riding a bike, Balanceability aims to embed in the psyche of young children that cycling and keeping active is a part of life. A key focus for the project is bike and road safety. The children will be taught how to fully control their bike, how to follow the rules of the road and understand basic road signs.
The aim of the launch was to invite pupils and their families to come along to learn more about how the scheme will run. They had the opportunity to see the new equipment, speak to those involved to answer any further questions and even pick up a FREE cycle helmet which was donated by funds raised in association with the academy’s PTA and the Ryan Smith Foundation.
The pupils also welcomed a very special guest – Ryan Smith, along with his dad Mark and Sam from the Ryan Smith Foundation.
Ryan suffered severe brain injuries in a cycling accident in July 2013 when he was struck by a van on a narrow road in Lincolnshire. Although the accident could not have been avoided, Ryan’s injuries could have been lessened by wearing a cycling helmet. Since his accident, Ryan’s family set up the Ryan Smith Foundation, a registered charity which promotes cycle helmet safety awareness in schools and petitions to make cycle helmets compulsory.
Speaking at the launch Mrs Corinna Wright, Principal, said: “The Balanceability programme has been specially designed to teach children the importance of keeping active and healthy from a young age through its fun courses. Coupled with this, we want to ensure our pupils are aware of the dangers of cycling without a helmet and a big part of our cycling scheme will involve all aspects of staying safe whilst out and about. A child who enjoys riding their bike is more likely to cycle as an adult for transportation, recreation or even to become an Olympic athlete. Hopefully that will be one of our Beacon pupils!”