Bikeability Scotland Awards 2020: Celebrating a decade of school cycle training

5 November 2020    

The North East of Scotland dominated the 10th anniversary Bikeability Scotland Awards. Winners from Aberdeenshire, Angus and Moray were honoured for their commitment to cycle training.

2020 has been an unusual and difficult year for everyone. Cycle training has been significantly disrupted and consequently the annual Bikeability Scotland Awards look a little different this time around – no civic reception for the winners and the introduction of new categories to reflect a unique set of circumstances. But with the Bikeability Scotland programme celebrating its 10th year, Cycling Scotland were also given the opportunity to look back on the progress and achievements over the last decade.

Cycling Scotland manages Bikeability Scotland, the national cycle training programme for school children. With a network of trainers teaching vital bike skills and on-road cycle training, more than 300,000 pupils have participated since 2010. The annual awards recognise the hard work and dedication of those who deliver the programme. This year included three awards – two covering 2020 and a special anniversary award for the individual who has consistently excelled over the last 10 years.

The 2020 awards were presented to:

  • Bikeability Scotland 10th Anniversary Achievement Award
    • Winner: June Andrew (Aberdeenshire)
  • Bikeability Scotland Instructor of the Year
    • Winner: Iain Bamber (Moray)
    • Highly Commended: Philip Gilholm (East Lothian)
  • Bikeability Scotland Annual Achievement Award
    • Winner: John Bremner (Angus)
    • Highly Commended: Donna Brown (Moray)

In naming June Andrew as the deserving winner of the special anniversary award, judges commented on her long-term dedication and commitment to the programme, her energy and enthusiasm in tirelessly serving such a large authority, and, most notably, her achievement of supporting over 25,000 children to develop on-road cycling skills since Bikeability Scotland was introduced.

June is the leading council staff representative for Bikeability Scotland in Aberdeenshire, serving some 150 primary schools across a wide geographical area, and her involvement with school cycle training predates the Bikeability programme.  Over 100 schools take part in Bikeability Scotland Level 2 on-road training in Aberdeenshire every year.

Iain Bamber was the winner of the Bikeability Scotland Instructor of the Year. Judges were particularly impressed by Iain’s work ethic and passion, as well as his determination and flexibility in introducing cycling training and activities to childcare hubs during school closures.

Donna Brown, Bikeability Scotland Coordinator for Moray, said: “Iain is an extremely enthusiastic and dedicated Bikeability instructor, always going the extra mile, seizing opportunities to help children get more from cycling.  First to spot the opportunity for cycling in our Hubs during lockdown, he helped organise a successful trial, which led to us delivering regularly in all 8 Hubs.  Iain took the lead, as other staff were furloughed, and led a team of trainees, new staff and volunteers delivering cycling activities across the full range from learn to cycle to Bikeability 2.”

Iain personally made over 100 visits to schools and taught more than 60 children to learn to cycle.  He would regularly find ways of engaging all young people and teachers, taking a tandem or trike along with him to provide different options.  Iain took over 200 children through Bikeability 1 and 30 through Bikeability 2, a fantastic achievement.

John Bremner was the winner of the Bikeability Scotland Annual Achievement Award – a new award recognising outstanding achievement in the delivery of Bikeability Scotland in what has been a very unique year for school cycle training.

It was a unanimous decision to award John the prize.  Judges commented on John’s long-term commitment, his proactive and resourceful approach in being among the first to introduce cycle training and activities in childcare hubs during school closures, and his resolve in overcoming the logistical challenges of coordinating staff and mentors whilst recognising increased health risks, to himself and others.

John coordinated the hub activity from home whilst shielding during lockdown.  He proactively sought to offer the opportunity for cycle training as soon as childcare hubs were established, and repurposed existing Support Plus funding to support activity.  He developed appropriate risk assessments and delivery guidance for immediate use, and these were subsequently shared more widely to inform practice in other authority areas.  Over 100 pupils (aged P1 to S2) benefited from cycle training and related activities during 34 separate sessions, across 6 childcare hubs in Angus throughout school closures.