Children trade places for Takeover Challenge cycle sessions

PPupils at a Birmingham school have traded places with adults to become cycling instructors for the afternoon as part of the Children’s Commissioner for England’s Takeover Challenge.

The challenge is a national project which encourages organisations across England to open their doors to children and young people to take over adult roles, putting them in decision-making positions and enabling the organisations and businesses in question to hear their views.

A total of 24 children in Year 6 at Clifton Primary School, in Balsall Heath, gave cycle lessons to parents, relatives and other adults at the session.

The school was approached to take on the challenge by officers from Birmingham City Council’s Big Birmingham Bikes team after the school attended BikeFest in the city centre in September.

Instructors from Big Birmingham Bikes visited the school a few days before the challenge to teach the children the necessary skills to become instructors themselves.

Councillor Stewart Stacey, Cabinet Member for Transport and Roads at Birmingham City Council, said: “Swapping roles in this way gives young people the opportunity to gain an insight into the adult world, while the organisations and businesses working with them benefit from a fresh perspective about their work.

“Crucially, these children have been learning about cycle safety and then sharing their knowledge with their parents, relatives and other adults. These skills will serve all those who took part very well, but especially the younger generation who can draw on these skills when cycling to and from school and later in life when they cycle to college and even work.”

PArthur Mullisi who took the role of pupil while his daughter Rayhanah became the instructor, said he would like to see more cycling activities on a more frequent basis, while Safina Aftab, a parent governor of three children within the school who had not cycled for many years said she had really enjoyed herself.

Pupils who became cycling instructors for the afternoon also praised the event.

Musaab Hussain said: “I really enjoyed the Takeover Day because I got to teach my mom and aunt.”

Uthmaan Siddiq said: “I had so much fun and I love being a teacher. I would like to do this again.”

Owen Lamprey, lead practitioner for health and wellbeing at the school, said: “It was a great experience seeing our young people being given the responsibility to lead others in partnership through physical activity and fantastic to see parents involved in cycling. Clifton Primary School is always willing to offer a range of physical activities and wellbeing opportunities – thank you to Big Birmingham Bikes.”


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