Ed Clancy OBE presenting image

Pupils pitch cycling and walking plans to Olympian in school ‘Dragons Den’ event

This week, Pupils taking part in our Modeshift STARS Active Travel Ambassadors programme pitched plans to improve cycling, walking and wheeling at schools across South Yorkshire in a ‘Dragon’s Den’ style event judged by triple Olympic cycling champion Ed Clancy, OBE.

Having developed active travel plans for their schools, aspiring secondary school students went in front of a panel for the cash to turn their ideas into reality.

South Yorkshire’s Active Travel Commissioner, Ed Clancy OBE, said: “Some of my happiest memories from my childhood were simply being involved in active travel. I first fell in love with two wheels because it was an enjoyable way to get to school and a tool to meet mates at the weekend.

“Now, without a doubt, the best thing about retiring from professional sport is helping others to experience cycling, walking and wheeling for themselves. It’s my priority to improve South Yorkshire’s active travel network for this reason, to break down both physical and mental barriers that prevent children and adults getting involved.

“That’s why initiatives like Modeshift’s Active Travel Ambassadors programme are so important, and I’m truly inspired by all the pupils, schools and partners involved.”

Funding will be provided to schools in the Modeshift Active Travel Ambassadors programme, including Brinsworth Academy, Wath Academy, Wales High School, Oakwood High School, Newfield, Silverdale, Astrea Academy and Bradfield.

Ross Butcher, Modeshift Chair said: ‘The Modeshift Active Travel Ambassadors programme empowers secondary school pupils by giving them the skills and confidence to tackle travel issues in the school community. What the pupils at this event have achieved here is a great example of this – together we’re setting these pupils up to carry these active travel habits into their adult lives’.

Emily Sykes, Active Travel Ambassadors Programme Manager said: ‘By working in partnership with the Bikeability Trust and with the fantastic support of the Local Authorities, the Active Travel Ambassador programme has been a great success at all of the schools here today. The Ambassadors involved have embraced the opportunity to have their voice heard and are committed to making a positive impact in their school community, making people think differently about how they choose to travel. They are working incredibly hard to promote the benefits of walking, cycling and wheeling, acting as active travel role models to their friends and peers and leaving a legacy in their school community.”

Experts from Active Travel England, The Bikeability Trust, Living Streets and Local Authorities  have joined us this week at the Midlands and North Yorkshire events too – to hear about the creative measures schools are taking, under Modeshift STARS Active Travel Ambassadors programme, to cut car use.

A huge well done and thank you to all the students and ‘dragons’ taking part.

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