Mini cyclists compete with Tour de France competitors

Published Tuesday, 1st July 2014
Herringthorpe mini-cyclists
Pupils and staff prepare to cycle

Mini-cyclists from Herringthorpe Junior School were hot on the heels of their official Tour de France counterparts during a recent pedal week challenge.

Pupils from years three to six cycled continuously from morning registration until home time in an attempt to complete the Tour de France route.

Over the week the school managed to pedal over 1,000 miles, easily quashing the Grand Depart Yorkshire leg of just 339 miles.

Running from Saturday July 5 to Sunday July 27, the 101st Tour de France will be made up of 21 stages and will cover a total distance of 2,276 miles.

Head of school Mrs Adams said, “We are very proud of the children. To do over 1,000 miles was more than we expected. We certainly gave the official Tour de France competitors a run for their money.

“We had parents and members of the community also supporting us for the day.

“At the end of each day we awarded yellow jerseys to the winning adults and children as leaders of the race and they then passed it on to the new leaders each day.”

The Sheffield Sharks also dropped by, swapping their basketballs for handlebars to support the children, whilst teachers donned their cycling shorts to join in the challenge alongside the pupils.

The Sharks’ B. Healthy - B. Braun Mike Tuck and Patrick Horstmann work with local schools in Yorkshire to promote healthy living and healthy lifestyles. After each of the children took their turn in the cycling challenge, the children had a spin on the Sharks’ smoothie bike, peddling to make a smoothie.

And the cycling efforts didn’t end there - each class produced work during the week on the Tour de France theme which covered all areas of the curriculum, including plotting how far the children had travelled.

Enterprise Champion Louise Greenwood added, “Although we didn’t manage to complete the whole route, the pupils are definitely winners in our eyes.”

Meanwhile, Sustrans supported the school pupils in running a bike stall selling a range of equipment including helmets, locks, lights and reflectors, raising more than £100 for Enterprise London.

Sustrans Bike It Officer for Rotherham Natalie Whelan said, “Herringthorpe Junior School has been working with Sustrans for just over two years now, and have benefitted from class bike rides, puncture repair classes and much more.

“But their latest self-initiated pedal-powered event is an inspiration. It’s wonderful to see a school so keen to promote cycling, not only because of the Yorkshire Grand Depart and influence of the Tour de France at a local level this year, but because cycling is a fantastic way for children to stay fit and healthy - and let’s not forget it’s fun too.”

Learn more about cycling in Rotherham