With just less than 100 days to go until the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships get underway in Glasgow and across Scotland, the city's primary schools are gearing up for the event with the launch of an exciting new cross-curricular learning resource - Learning Through Cycling.
And with Scots expected to feature strongly in the Championships, youngsters at Aultmore Primary School in Easterhouse were treated to a surprise visit from Olympic silver medallist and cycling World and European Champion, Neah Evans, keen to share her passion for the sport and inspire a future generation.
Glasgow Life, in partnership with the council's PEPASS (Physical Education, Physical Activity and School Sport) team, have created the Learning Through Cycling Pack to inspire, educate, and promote a life-long love of cycling amongst children across the city.
With a wide variety of both practical and knowledge-based multi-disciplinary learning activities included, the Learning Through Cycling Pack ensures children gain a broad understanding of cycling in the context of their regular classroom learning.
It also makes excellent links to the seven core principles of the Curriculum for Excellence, supporting teaching staff in their planning and delivery of health & wellbeing, maths & numeracy, literacy, science, technologies, expressive arts, and social studies.
All types and aspects of cycling are explored, including Road, Track and Dirt (Mountain Biking, BMX), Active Travel highlighting the importance of sustainability and even looks at the range of career opportunities in cycling.
For example, tapping into technology and science, pupils can use the bike to understand the function of the different parts and how they work together, the fundamentals of the nutrition required to train and race on a bike, the specialist equipment and training needed, and how to ensure our bikes are safe and roadworthy.
David Weir, PE Lead Officer with PEPASS in Glasgow - author of the new resource, said: "Glasgow has a fabulous track record of delivering major events, however central to this is our vision to see Glasgow recognised as a world leader in harnessing the power of sport and physical activity to change lives for the better.
"Initiatives like this are central to providing meaningful and engaging ways to integrate sport and physical activity across the school curriculum and encouraging pupils on the back of exciting events like the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships, to make cycling an everyday part of their lives."
Already working with partners in the community to deliver an extensive programme of practical cycling activities for pupils at the school, Aultmore Park Primary in Easterhouse is one of the first schools to make use of the Learning Through Cycling Pack.
Welcoming the initiative, Headteacher Shelagh Dalahunt said: "We have worked with groups in the local community over several years to teach practical cycling skills and we are proud to say that around 83% of pupils at Aultmore Park can now ride a bike and are enthusiastic about cycling.
"However, this pack will enable us to take it to the next level and bring cycling into the classroom in a fun and interesting way, also signposting them to other cycling opportunities outside of school.
"Having a visit from an Olympic medallist today is a huge thrill for the children and I know will leave a lasting impression, encouraging them to follow her and all the British athletes participating in the World Championships here in Glasgow in just a few weeks' time."
Making her final preparations and aiming to be selected for the 2023 World Championships, track cyclist Neah Evans said: "It is fantastic to see the enthusiasm of the children for cycling whether in the playground or in the classroom. I came fairly late to this sport, and it is great to see these youngsters get the opportunity to fully engage with cycling at this early age.
"Whether they get on a bike just for fun and to get from A to B, or ultimately want to go on and get involved in racing, cycling offers a wealth of opportunities for everyone of all ages and abilities.
"Having the opportunity to compete on my home track at a World Championships would be a dream come true. The atmosphere in the city will be amazing with lots of opportunities for people to come out and watch the world's best cyclist in action, as well as try out cycling activities for themselves."
From 3-13 August 2023, the inaugural UCI Cycling World Championships will be hosted in Glasgow and across Scotland. It will be the single biggest cycling event in history, bringing together 13 existing individual UCI world championships into one mega event, with five venues in the city staging no less than eight of the 13 UCI World Championship events.
Craig Burn, Director of Strategy and Policy Impacts, 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships said: "The Learning Through Cycling Pack being launched with less than 100 days to go to the UCI Cycling World Championships is another fantastic legacy project, utilising the power of the bike to connect school age children to the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships whilst importantly supporting their learning and development journey.
"I'd like to congratulate Glasgow for their vision and commitment to developing this resource and encourage teachers and local authorities across Scotland to utilise this learning resource to inspire more young people to discover how cycling can support learning outcomes and promote more active and healthy lifestyles."