Children loving Scoot Fit

If you attended the Modeshift convention in November you may well have met James from Scootfit and may even had little scoot around the venue.

Here in Derbyshire we are huge fans of scooting so we were delighted to accept an offer from Scootfit to run some scooter disco activity sessions at Ladywood Primary School.

Ladywood Primary school has achieved the ModeshiftSTARS silver award and are keen advocates of active travel with minipods installed for bikes and scooters, as well as being regular participates in sustainable travel promotional events and activities. The school has previously undertaken our Scooter Smart course & hence ticked this off in ModeshiftSTARS under initiative R4 - scooter training.

Scootfit however was a completely different experience to Scooter Smart - essentially being all the fun things pupils think we are going to as part of Scooter Smart which I disappoint them by telling them that they are not.

James worked with 100 children over a morning from classes in reception, Y3 and Y5. He supplied 2 and 3 wheeled scooters, adult scooters for staff, helmets, knee pads, ramps and music!

Once kitted up, the session involved pupils (& school staff) scooting multiple circuit laps around the playground, developing stability, building up speed and confidence, jumping over ramps, to a music sound track of songs that they all knew the words to but which I barely recognised!

The activity illustrated some very interesting points namely;

The quick progression some children were able to make from not being able to scoot at all to mastering the skill, while some others were able to move on from a 3 wheeler to scooting on two wheels.

Conversely it was surprising to see the apparent lack of physical stamina that some children had to sustain continuous scooting for any more than the duration of two music tracks - and their need to stop for a rest!

Staff at the school also noted the lack of confidence some children had to take a risk and to try scooting on a ramp. In particular this often seemed to be from children who 'take a risk' academically - i.e. they will try and problem solve a mathematics or spelling problem, but they appeared reluctant to take a physical risk. So the Scootfit session also provided the opportunity for some of these pupils (and teachers!) to pluck up their courage.

There were certainly benefits to the activity - perhaps less obviously to do with road safety or even sustainable travel - but more with regard to the level of fitness required to complete a journey on a scooter, which now makes sense of the comments I sometimes hear from parents who say they don't let their child scoot to school because they get too tired & the parent ends up carrying the scooter!

In STARS I listed the Scootfit disco - as W16 "other scooting initiative" as I won't really class it as road safety & training, and as such I would say it's usefulness is in addition to any scooter safety/pavement courtesy training you might do, although James did say he can also cover this if required.

As Scootfit is a Modeshift partner - if you get the opportunity to work with James - you'll find he is super enthusiastic about scooting & the pupils love the activity. The school did note that it made the Year 5's a bit hyped for the rest of the day, but I have heard the same said about many another activity that gets undertaken in schools during the morning session, so one to consider when timetabling the day!

You can contact James at www.scootfit.co.uk or james@scootfit.co.uk or 07960885083.

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