12 children aged five to 17 years with Down syndrome recently benefitted from a weeklong cycle club held at a primary school in Newbury, West Berkshire.
The club was organised by national standard instructors Caroline Lane and Alison Crawford and staffed by volunteers, who used a range of activities to encourage the children to develop their balance and coordination on a bike. Each participant progressed at their own pace, with one to one support.
Activities such as chasing bubbles, bike football, slaloms and musical squares kept the emphasis on fun, and a large puddle in the playground became a training aid as those scooting without pedals were encouraged to coast through the water with their feet in the air.
Three of the children were riding confidently with pedals by the end of the week and the rest were able to coast with their feet off the ground for short periods.
Caroline Lane said: “There is no reason why children with Down syndrome shouldn’t be able to ride a bike, although it may take longer and require a slightly different approach.
“Bringing everyone together like this means that the children and parents can learn from and encourage each other. Everybody had a brilliant time and we hope to make this an annual event.”
For more information contact Cheryl Evans, West Berkshire’s senior road safety officer, on 01635 519984.