Nearly 300 primary pupils took their first steps on the road to learning how to cycle safely at balance bike festivals organised by Erewash School Sport Partnership.
Pupils from Reception and Year One were invited to the events, held at The Long Eaton School and at Rutland Sports Park in Ilkeston, and took part in a variety of activities with the aim of teaching them how to balance, control, glide and steer a balance bike.
Schools which took part included St Thomas, Charlotte Infant, Field House Infant, Ladywood, Scargill, Dallimore, Shardlow, Firfield, Risley, St Laurence, Dovedale and Sawley Infant.
Children were taught how to manoeuvre with their feet off the ground while on the bike and how to improve acceleration and stop in control. They also practiced turning and manoeuvring bikes using the handlebars to navigate around and through obstacles.
Sports leaders from Ormiston Ilkeston Enterprise Academy and The Long Eaton School helped out and worked with ESSP staff, primary staff and parent helpers to support the children.
Vicky Brierley, from Erewash School Sport Partnership, said the festivals were a great success.
She said: “The festivals were a great way to give children a taste of what it is like to learn how to ride a bike and it was great to see so many parent helpers at the events so that they could see what balance bikes are all about.
“The problem with stabilisers is that they inhibit the opportunity to learn how to balance. Balance bikes are great for boosting confidence and getting children started.
“We ran a number of activities purely focused on balance and core stability which is what they need to learn in order to ride a bike. We also taught the children about the different foot patterns they need, pushing off with both feet and finding their way around an obstacle course.
“We need to get children out there on their bikes; cycling is a great activity which all the family can do together.”
Nicky Godridge, PE co-ordinator at Field House Infants, said the festivals were an ideal starting point for pupils who wanted to learn how to ride a bike.
She said: “We brought seven children from Reception and three from Year One and this festival was just ideal for them. They loved it and it was great to see them growing in confidence throughout the event.”

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