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Inclusive Cycling Session for children with disabilities

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CTC Reading and Reading Borough Council, in partnership with British Cycling, and Palmer Park Velo, held an inclusive cycling session on 1 March at Palmer Park with Brookfields Special SEN School.
Children stop at necessary checkpoints to improve cycling sa
Children were taught to stop at necessary checkpoints to improve cycling sa

At the session, students with physical or mental disabilities were able to cycle on a bicycle, tricycle or tandem.

The programme started at the beginning of February, and within those four weeks, coaches saw very encouraging results:

“In four weeks, we’ve gone from most not being able to ride at all to being able to cycle and now many can ride tandems,” said Andrew Pitt, British Cycling qualified coach, Road, TT and Track Club coach.  “I think what those kids have achieved is amazing.”

Pitt was not alone in his sentiments – Chris McLeod, PPV (Palmer Park Velo) Head Coach, commented on the sense of achievement felt when working with these children: “By the end of the first session, there were grown men with tears in their eyes because it was so fulfilling and rewarding,” said McLeod.  “A little bit of our time means a lot to them.”

The coaches have been able to accommodate some of the disabilities in creative ways.  Jason Pitt, son of Andrew Pitt, rides a tandem with a deaf child. The two have created their own system of communication: “Basically, I have a box on and I can talk to Samuel and it connects to his hearing aids,” said Jason.  “So I’ll give him a one-word command and if he hears it and understands it, he’ll tap me on the back so that I know that he’s heard.  If he doesn’t tap on the back, I repeat the command”.

 

I think what those kids have achieved is amazing."

Andrew Pitt

Cycling Coach

Those involved with the session are hoping to increase the turnout even more within the next few weeks.  Graham MacNamee, Go-Ride Coach - Central, said, “From now on, I’ll be looking for schools with children who have disabilities to work with on a regular basis to move them forward. One of the big things is that it’s a sense of freedom – under their own control, to a certain extent – and the progress they’ve made over the last few weeks has been amazing.  It’s so much fun”.

To get involved, contact CTC’s Development Officer of Reading Javed Saddique  / 07789 683650.

A video of the session:

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