Year seven and eight pupils from across three London boroughs are set to benefit from a partnership project which aims to encourage cycling to school leading up to and beyond the London 2012 Olympics.
The initiative will see 11 schools from Barking and Dagenham, Redbridge and Waltham Forest take part in a tournament funded by Transport for London and supported by London Hardcourt Bike Polo Association. All schools taking part have been able to do so through the School Travel Plan Programme.
The tournament takes place on Wednesday 27 June at Redbridge Sports and Leisure Centre and awards will be handed out by Mike Mullen, a former BMX World Masterclass Champion.
Bike Polo featured as a demonstration sport at the 1908 London Olympic Games. It is now fast becoming a rapidly spreading urban sport which has been granted the Inspire mark by the London 2012 Inspire Programme.
Councillor Liam Smith, Leader of Barking and Dagenham Council and Cabinet Member for the Olympics, said: “Being involved with this programme has provided our schools with the tools and knowledge on how to include cycling as part of the curriculum and extended school activities.
“As a Host Borough for the Olympic and Paralympic Games, this sustainable nature of the project including staff training and equipment provided, means there is a lasting legacy after the Games. We are proud to be part of this partnership and wish all the teams the very best of luck especially local youngsters from All Saints Catholic School and Technology College and the Jo Richardson Community School.”
David Rowe, Head of Borough Projects and Programmes at Transport for London said: “We are delighted to provide funding for such projects through the Local Implementation Plan (LIP), to help young people acquire important skills for life such as cycling. The competition will equip the young Londoners with the know-how they need to enjoy getting around using pedal power and encourage them to be fit and healthy.
“With the London 2012 Games not so far away now, we are encouraging everyone to consider alternative travel choices, such as cycling, because public transport will be busier at certain times in certain places. “
The Local Implementation Plan (LIP) is a process through which TfL and the Mayor provides funding for hundreds of large and small-scale transport projects to support the Mayor of London’s Transport Strategy.