Photo: Miranda North Public School students with Sutherland Shire Mayor Councillor Carmelo Pesce, Miranda North Public School Principal Ross Angus and Complete Cycle Coaching Trainers Dayna Davidson and Jenny Triggs.

MEDIA RELEASE - Wheels in motion for educational program to promote active transport

An educational cycling program has been launched at Miranda North Public School by Sutherland Shire Council, in partnership with NSW Department of Education, which is set to instil confidence and capability of young riders.

The ‘Cycle to School’ pilot project will see students in years 5 and 6 at Miranda North Public School improve their cycling skills and understanding of road safety awareness, while encouraging more students to seek out opportunities to take active transport where possible.

Sutherland Shire Mayor, Councillor Carmelo Pesce said as students return to school grounds following extensive periods of at-home-learning, there’s never been a better time for young people – who can do so safely – to ride to and from school with their peers.

“Council is always eager to encourage active transport and road safety awareness within our community, and cycling is a great way for students to get to and from their school grounds in a healthy and enjoyable manner,” Mayor Pesce said.

“This pilot project not only educates young people on road safety awareness and the health and environmental benefits of active transport use, it also aims to break the pattern of young people relying on parents to drive them to school or social activities, over distances that can be cycled or walked.

“We’re fortunate to live in a community which supports active transport infrastructure and is home to several shared pathways which enable safe cycling. Provided students are able to cycle, have the support of their parents or carers, and live within a suitable distance to their school, we are eager to encourage more young people to choose active transport.”

Miranda North Public School Principal Ross Angus said the students were eager to incorporate more cycling opportunities within the school curriculum.

“This project has been a long time in the making for our school,” Miranda North Public School Principal Ross Angus said.

“It is also a sign of students having an impact on teaching and learning opportunities, as it was the students who voiced their keen interest in riding bikes initially. With the students motivated to learn more about cycling, we were eager to see the Cycle to School program incorporated into their PDHPE classes.

“Naturally, there is the physical exercise benefit for the students participating in the practical activities, and riding to and from school, and we are pleased to be able to encourage this health benefit and their cycling interests further.”

The current project is an extension of the successful Cycle to School program piloted by Council at Sutherland North Public School and Woolooware Public School in 2018, which saw over 320 students successfully complete the program.

Throughout the eight-week program, students will engage in hands-on learning experiences to improve rider confidence and ability, while school parents are being encouraged to reduce vehicle dependency and support their child’s riding independence.

“Following the success of similar programs in 2018 at Sutherland North and Woolooware primary schools, we hope to see positive results from this year’s project to demonstrate the benefits of implementing a permanent educational cycling program in primary schools across Sutherland Shire,” Mayor Pesce said.

“We’re excited to see this program take off at Miranda North Public School this term and hope the students will gain many valuable and lifelong skills out of the program.”

The Cycle to School project is facilitated by local cycling training professionals from Complete Cycle Coaching.