A specialist cycle training scheme has been chosen to play a key role in Whitehill and Bordon’s bid to be a Healthy New Town.
Balanceability, a part of TTC Cycling, has signed a deal with East Hampshire District Council to supply its custom-made bikes and training programmes to six schools in the town.
The contract will support more than 200 young pupils to start learning to ride a bike and help with their core strengths and motor neurone skills, as well as giving them basic training on road safety.
Each school will have ten bikes and the programme materials for a term and a Balanceability expert will deliver training days to teachers so they can pass their knowledge and experiences down to the children.
“One of the Government’s main aims for the Healthy New Towns initiative is encouraging children to be more active and teaching them how to ride a bike is a great way of doing just that,” explained Brittanny Eagle, Sales Manager at Balanceability.
“Many of them may not have had the opportunity to do this in the past so by equipping the schools with the tailored bikes and the right training packages, we can ensure lots more children start to cycle.”
She continued: “This is the first time we have worked with the Healthy New Towns initiative and hopefully it could prove a blueprint for other schools and areas to adopt. It’s all about making the most of the funding and getting the maximum number of children more active.”
East Hampshire District Council’s Ferris Cowper, EHDC’s Portfolio Holder for Whitehill & Bordon, said: “This is one of a number of initiatives we have taken part in to encourage young people to get out and active, particularly in the way they travel to school.
“Part of our £1 billion project in Whitehill & Bordon includes the laying of miles of cycle paths across and around the town. Giving young people the chance to learn how to ride a bike at an early age will open up wonderful opportunities for them and their families to enjoy our green, healthy and connected town.”
The schools taking part in the training are Bordon Infant school, Woodlea Primary School, The Weyford Nursery and Primary School, The Holme Primary School, in Headley, St Matthew’s Primary School and Hollywater School.
TTC Group acquired Balanceability in 2014 as part of ambitions to expand its training into new specialist areas.
In the five years that have followed, the company has steadily grown its coverage across the UK, winning contracts to supply balance bikes, resources and equipment to the general public, local authorities, schools and other public sector bodies.
TTC’s Cycling Director Oliver Raisbeck concluded: “We are excited to be working with East Hampshire District Council, as we both share similar aspirations. Our capabilities and services are driven by the needs of today’s organisations to reduce the on-road incidents and the wider social aims of improving health and wellbeing.”
Hampshire County Council is working on a collection of transport schemes to be put in place in the coming years to support Whitehill & Bordon’s regeneration into a Green and Healthy Town.
This includes providing improved routes and more crossing points for pedestrians and cyclists and reducing traffic speeds in key locations, such as the entrance to the new town centre.