CHILDREN at Woodside Academy have been pedalling hard over the last few weeks as they competed successfully in both the national Big Pedal and the Essex Mountain Bike Tournament. Woodside children made 2779 two wheeled journeys during the fortnight of the competition making them 88th out of 1,525 schools competing throughout the UK, 19th in the East of England and 1st in Thurrock. School staff encouraged participation by taking children on lunchtime rides throughout the fortnight but the highlight was competing in the Essex School Sports first mountain biking tournament at Danbury Park, where Woodside girl’s team won first place.
Cycling is a key plank of Woodside’s travel plan and the school has already gained the Sustrans’ bronze Bike It award and hopes to gain the silver award very soon. Woodside principal Edward Caines said “We were very pleased with the children’s response and I hope this inspires other children and adults to follow their example. Pollution and global warning are not going to go away unless we do things like change the way we travel.”
On Friday children pedalled again to raise money for Sports Relief. The whole school ran a mile for Sports Relief using Woodside’s regular Wednesday cross country route across Orsett Heath, but this year, to continue the Olympic heritage, children had the chance to make it a triathlon by also completing a cycle ride, a swim or a throwing activities during the day.