Over 70 people attend the launch of Bike Club in Northern Ireland 19/11/2010Posted by espytim in Asda, Belfast, Education, Events, Team, Uncategorized.
The latest exciting development in the progress of Bike Club has been the launch of the project in Northern Ireland. Over 70 people attended the launch event in Belfast to hear how Bike Club could benefit the young people they work with through cycling related activities.
Northern Ireland’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr Michael McBride, was the guest speaker at the Belfast event that brought together key decision-makers within youth work, education, community development and transport sectors. Dr Michael McBride delivered the introductory speech and said:
“ Obesity is one of the most important public health issues facing Northern Ireland today, with estimates of the annual related costs to the Health and Social Care Service at around £500 million.
“ We are seeing an increasing number of overweight or obese children who are storing up a lifetime of health problems for later years. Initiatives such as Bike Club can help provide opportunities to participate in quality physical activity, which can have a real benefit to the health of the entire population. Such approaches are vital if we are to see positive change in the weight of the population, and support for the delivery of the new Obesity Prevention Framework, which is currently out for public consultation”
Barry Flood, CTC Councillor for Ireland and Overseas chaired the event and raised opposition to a proposed helmet law for young people in Northern Ireland. This issue is extremely notable and a potential barrier to young people participating in cycling, if passed by local government at the Northern Ireland assembly. Research into countries where a helmet law has been applied have shown that it reduces the number of people cycling. During the panel question time, Kevin Mayne CEO of the CTC stressed that the CTC promotes the freedom of choice regarding the use of helmets for cycling.
Sarah Troke, Bike Club’s UK manager, provided a wholesome overview of the project and detail about the projects achievements. Sarah introduced the Bike Club development officers attending the event, namely Patrick, Gavin, Damian, Ross, Mel and Belfast’s Development Officer, Tim Edgar. Kevin Mayne CEO of the CTC, explained the background behind the organisation’s work in cycling development including Bike Club and how the involvement of partners ContinYou, UK Youth materialised.
Delegates were then invited to discuss their ideas of how Bike Club can most effectively benefit the young people they work with. Conversation and debate took place as experts from various fields developed strategies of how best to set up cycling activities. Notable pledge of the day came from Dr McBride, who stated that he would cycle to work at least 2 days per week, after hearing the presentations by the National Bike Club manager, Sarah Troke and CTC CEO, Kevin Mayne.
Bike Club uses cycling to create opportunities for learning and involvement among children, young people and their families. Small grants are available to youth clubs, young people’s groups and schools seeking to establish cycling-related activities within their communities.
Bike Club is a programme set up through cooperation between community learning and health experts ContinYou, youth organisation UK Youth and CTC, the national cyclists’ organisation. Bike Club’s expansion has been made possible by funding from supermarket chain Asda’s Pedal Power campaign.
The key note presentation is available to download from here:
If you would like further information about Bike Club in Northern Ireland , contact Tim Edgar on 07500069357 or firstname.lastname@example.org