UK school pupils design bike friendly t-shirt in national comp

Youngsters artwork to encourage school cycling

Young students in the UK have been designing t-shirts and posters to encourage their fellow pupils to cycle to school.

The UK's leading cycling charity, Sustrans, set up the competition as part of its Bike It project. The scheme is working with schools to increase the number of pupils cycling.

Olivia Farah in Year 3 of Beatrix Potter Primary School in Wandsworth, South London, won the top prize in the poster competition and has had her design made into a special t-shirt.

Olivia's design was chosen from hundreds in the 'I LIKE IT BIKE IT!' competition and shows a multicoloured bike made out of words describing how much she likes to ride her bike.  

The design has won her a brand new Raleigh bike worth up to £250.

The entries in the competition caused passionate and heated debate amongst the judges at Sustrans HQ in Bristol and the results were extremely close - only four votes separated the top three.  

The competition was open to all schools taking part in the project across England, but came down to an age-old contest between North and South London.  

The two were separated by Kirsty Jennings from Queensmead Community Primary School in Leicester whose unique design made of pipe cleaners pushed Emily Moore of North London into third place.

The London schools are two of around thirty in the capital taking part in the Bike It project, which encourages children to choose two wheels instead of four for their school journeys.  

There are three Bike It officers working across the city and the winning design came from one of Holly Bruford's schools.  Holly is the newest member of the team and works with schools in Hammersmith and Fulham, Wandsworth and Hackney.

The Bike It project receives funding from many partners including Transport for London, Cycling England and the cycle industry, but Holly's post is part of a new initiative funded by the Big Lottery Fund's Well-being Programme. It will help two million people to become more physically active as part of their daily lives.  

Holly said: "I'm really pleased that Olivia's design was chosen by the judges as the words in the picture really do sum up the joys of riding a bike - the wind keeps you cool, you can go through puddles and it's fun to go down ramps; it also shows the benefits too - easy to ride, good exercise and you can get to places quickly.

"According to the National Travel Survey only one per cent to three per cent of young people regularly cycle to school, but we know that many more want to - in fact our own Bike It surveys show that around 45 per cent of students want to cycle to school.  

"It's great to work on a project that is helping young people get what they want, especially given the benefits to their health and the environment."

Debs Powell, Marketing Manager at Raleigh said: "Getting more people of all ages to get cycling is so important for health and environmental reasons."

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