Young cyclists with their new bikes
Young people from South Ayrshire are celebrating with new bikes after completing their Bronze level cycling skills and cycle maintenance course which counts towards their Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Award.
The 14 budding cyclists from Ayr Academy, Belmont Academy and Marr College now have the confidence to get active on two wheels after completing the course in conjunction with Sustrans and the Active Travel Hub in Ayr.
South Ayrshire has something for every type of cyclist and the young people now have the perfect opportunity to explore miles of cycle paths, track and trails on their new bikes thanks to the Smarter Choices, Smarter Places scheme funded by Paths4All.
The young people taking part in the programme were selected as part of the Duke of Edinburgh Award '50 faces' campaign which encourages children and young people from all backgrounds to learn new skills and gain awards.
The young people were really enthusiastic about cycling and the course:
"I intend to cycle more now as it's enjoyable and it clears my head."
"It was good to learn basic skills on how to maintain bikes, we feel more confident cycling on busy roads, it also reminds us how good cycling really is."
"The best bit was getting the bike on the road to cycle and learning how to use the bikes properly"
Councillor Ian Cochrane, Environment Portfolio Holder for South Ayrshire Council said: "Congratulations to all those who took part in this initiative. We want as many people as possible to get active and stay active; there are so many health and wellbeing benefits for young people when they adopt sustainable travel."
Councillor William Grant, Children and Young People Portfolio Holder for South Ayrshire Council commented: "We have one of the highest participation rates for the Duke of Edinburgh programme in the country and I hope even more young people now get involved. The chance to learn new skills inside and outside the classroom is something we are keen that everyone has the chance to enjoy."
Barry Fisher Scotland Director for Duke of Edinburgh programme said: "It has been fantastic to see the partnership form between Sustrans and Marr College, Belmont and Ayr Academy. The 12 week programme is a shining example of Diamond Funding being put to good to use".
"Not only have the young people involved had the opportunity to learn invaluable bike maintenance and safety skills. They now also have the opportunity to continue what they have learned by taking care of their own Mountain Bike."