Bikeability Scotland awards those who went the extra mile

4 November 2019    

Two Falkirk primary school teachers and volunteers from East Lothian and South Ayrshire receive national recognition for their efforts to promote cycling.

Cycling Scotland manages Bikeability Scotland, the national cycle training programme for school children. With a network of trainers to teach bike skills and on-road cycle training, more than 43,000 pupils participated in the programme last year. To acknowledge the enthusiasm and dedication of everyone involved, the annual Bikeability Scotland Awards recognise success in two categories, Volunteer of the Year and Pupils’ Choice.

The 2019 awards were presented to:

  • Volunteer of the Year
    • Awarded to Anna Beedel – Law Primary School, East Lothian
    • Highly Commended Robert Steele – Tarbolton Primary School, South Ayrshire
  • Pupils’ Choice Award
    • Highly Commended Colleen Edwards and Laura Cummings – Beancross Primary School, Falkirk

Bikeability Scotland is designed to give children the skills and confidence they need both to cycle safely on the roads, and to encourage them to carry on cycling into adulthood.

Volunteer award winner, Anna, has this year set up a Bikeability Scotland programme at one of the largest schools in East Lothian, delivering Level 1 and Level 2 training to over 200 pupils, across 3 year groups. In coordinating training, timetabling sessions, undertaking risk assessments and setting up bike checks, she has created a good working relationship with the school, and established a model for large school delivery in the authority.  In the process Anna has also encouraged no less than 20 volunteers to give of their own time and support the programme.

Fellow Bikeability Scotland volunteer Ali Buchanan, said of Anna “She is incredibly enthusiastic and committed to delivering Bikeability Scotland at our school. She was the driving force behind getting the school onboard, recruiting volunteers, liaising with the council and enthusing children and parents alike. Anna is determined to improve confidence, skills and access to cycling for the children and families in our town. She is always smiling, willing to help...the first to arrive and last to leave. Bikeability Scotland training simply wouldn’t be happening at Law Primary without her!”

(left to right: Anna Beedel, Colleen Edwards, Laura Cummings with Lord Provost of Edinburgh)

According to pupils at Beancross Primary School in Falkirk, Mrs Edwards and Miss Cummings made them more confident riders. They combined training in school with bike rides to Helix Park, which was enjoyed by everyone.

Colleen and Laura have worked together to support pupils to take an active role in their own training, establishing a Bikeability Pupil Leadership Group, and offering ‘Bike Breakfasts’ and ‘Dr Bike’ sessions.  Under their guidance the school has delivered a Level 1 and 2 programme to all eligible pupils.

A P6 pupil, Kiyanna, said “I could barely ride a bike before, but I got much better and more confident riding my bike after completing my Bikeability Level 1 and Level 2. Miss Cummings helped cycle beside me on the roads and this helped boost my confidence”

David Collins, Bikeability Scotland Development Officer, said: “There is so much excellent work going on across Scotland to get people, of all ages and abilities, cycling more often.  Our Bikeability Scotland trainers help school children develop confidence in themselves, by teaching them an essential life skill.  These awards are a great way to recognise their work, and celebrate the real difference they make to the lives of young people.”

Find out more about Bikeability Scotland