Last week saw Leicestershire secondary school children learn all about the importance of sustainability and the environmental benefits of cycling, as part of the latest instalment of Aggregate Industries and Leicester Tigers’ joint ‘Get on Your Bike’ initiative.
During the course of the week, a total of 220 children from three schools, including Ibstock Community College, Castlerock High School and King Edward VII Science and Sport College, received a special talk from the region’s flagship names on the vast impact that cycling, as opposed to getting dropped off in a car or using public transport, could make to the environment.
In addition, Aggregate Industries’ experts, Jane Gibson, Administrator - Sustainability, and Paul McCaffrey, Sustainable Products Manager, stopped by to offer further insight into the issue of sustainability, the impact of modern transport infrastructure and what Aggregate Industries is doing as a business to reduce its carbon footprint.
This latest activity forms part of the newly-launched ‘Get on Your Bike’ campaign which is designed to get school children in Leicestershire more active and spend more time cycling. The campaign forms part of the two organisations’ Concrete Rugby initiative, which champions a healthy lifestyle, team work and self-confidence in young people, through the introduction of key rugby skills. It will have reached out to more than 1,500 Leicestershire students aged 11-14 by the end of the 2017/18 school year.
Jane Gibson said: “It was fantastic to have the opportunity to meet so many local school children and encourage them to take up cycling as a way to not just stay fit but also do their bit for the environment. The response was fantastic and it was great to see that there is a real sense of commitment and enthusiasm amongst the next generation about the importance of protecting and looking after the world we live in – it’s just a case of where to begin. We hope that through our sessions Leicestershire kids are inspired to take up the pedal this summer as the perfect first step towards a greener lifestyle.”
New research conducted through the initiative has revealed that only 19% of Leicestershire secondary school children are getting their recommended 60 minutes of exercise per day. Over half (57%) say they spend most of their time outside of school either watching TV or gaming and over a third (38%) plan to do the same during the upcoming summer holidays.
Joe Reynolds, rugby development officer at Leicester Tigers, who runs the programme added: “It was great to see the kids engaged in the topic of sustainability. Alongside the rugby, we have some important messages that we aim to share with pupils so we aim to make these as interactive and fun as possible. A big thanks to Jane and Paul too for coming along and getting involved.
As the next phase of the programme, Leicester Tigers and Aggregate Industries will be visiting numerous schools across the region to discuss the importance of cycle safety and how to stay safe whilst on the road.
Aggregate Industries is also hosting a social media campaign, encouraging pupils to get involved by asking a friend to take pictures or videos of them with their bike (in a safe space) and tweeting @aggregateuk, using the hashtag #getonyourbike.
For further information please visit https://www.aggregate.com/sustainability/people-and-communities/get-on-your-bike