This fall, biking to school will be supported in the Lower Mainland at unprecedented levels, as Surrey schools will begin hosting a series of free cycling courses for students a partnership between HUB and the City of Surrey.
Surrey has the largest school district in the province, and it's very significant that the City is showing a commitment to active lifestyles for our kids and promoting safe cycling education that will remain with students for a lifetime.
"Cycling education for youth has been rapidly growing in popularity as teachers, parents, school boards, and municipal staff recognize the importance of active transportation. In 2012, just over 1900 students throughout the Lower Mainland participated in school-based on-bike training, and over 2000 more received in-class learning," says Scout Gray, HUB's Bike Education program manager. "The City of Surrey is making a big statement by funding cycling courses for all grade 4 and 5 students at nearly 100 elementary schools in the next several years. This will be sure to have an impact on students' travel behaviour." In the 2013-14 school year, training will be offered to approximately 50 elementary schools with an estimated 5600 students benefiting from this program.
Cycling instructors from HUB will be on the ground most school days this September and October equipping students with the skills & confidence they need to safely cycle to school and have fun! Students receive both in-class and on-bike training in a fun, supportive atmosphere and are taught by nationally certified cycling instructors.
Jaime Boan, Transportation Division Manager from the City of Surrey is looking forward to this initiative getting underway:
"The City of Surrey is excited to be launching this comprehensive program through the proven expertise of HUB. Providing cycling education for free to all grade 4 and 5 students in Surrey's elementary schools as part of our Safe and Active Schools Program will help to achieve our goal of increasing cycling and walking levels in order to create healthier, more livable communities."
This initiative provides each school with 40 minutes of in-class training and education with an additional 80 minutes of an on-bike session that teaches bike safety and provides opportunities for students to increase their confidence while riding a bike.
Shawn Wilson, Surrey School Board chair agrees with the many benefits of the program. "Our board is grateful to the City of Surrey and HUB for bringing cycling education to our students at no cost to the school district. It is great to see children participate in a healthy and fun activity, and learn how to do it safely."