Disadvantaged young people are being given the opportunity to train on the BMX tracks used in the 2012 Olympic Games.
Cycling charity Sustrans is giving 17 pupils from Years 7 to 9 at Bow Boys School in Tower Hamlets, east London, the chance to be trained by professional BMX coaches as part of the London 2012 Olympics legacy project managed by Access Sport.
The Bow Boys BMX Club meets on Thursdays after school and is aimed at encouraging at risk children away from gangs. The boys are training to compete locally and nationally in BMX competitions and eventually as teachers of BMX themselves.
Sustrans Bike It officer James Scott said:- “Cycling is great way for kids to get active, it improves their health, helps them focus at school and boosts their self esteem. The BMX Club is a fantastic achievement for Bow Boys – it is the first of its kind in Tower Hamlets and possibly the capital.”
Bow Boys school has also run a competition to design the logo for their team jersey which will be unveiled later this month. The Canary Wharf Group has raised more than £5,000 for flood lights so the club can train in winter.
Sustrans now needs to raise £200,000 to roll out the BMX Clubs across deprived schools in London’s Olympic Boroughs.
Bow Boys PE teacher and Sustrans Bike It champion Dan Pitt said: “Bow Boys strongly encourages healthy lifestyles for our students and believe cycling is a fantastic way to get active.
“We are always looking to expand opportunities for our students and hope that the BMX Club will help to address the gang culture in Tower Hamlets while providing students with a great sense of achievement.”
To donate to Sustrans visit http://www.sustrans.org.uk/donate