Culmore Primary School in Derry top Sustrans The Big Pedal NI league

Culmore Primary School in Derry have been confirmed as the winners of The Sustrans Big Pedal One-Day Challenge.

Sunday, 27th June 2021, 10:31 am

And not only did Culmore P.S. come first in Northern Ireland, they also came second in the UK against 1,466 other schools.

The Sustrans Big Pedal is the UK’s largest inter-school cycling, walking, wheeling and scooting challenge. It aims to inspire hundreds of thousands of pupils, staff and parents to get active on the school run. This year it took place from April 19 to 30.

Culmore P.S. Principal Clare McMenamin said the award helped end what has been a tough period on a high.

Culmore Primary School recently achieved first place in the Sustrans Northern Ireland region of ‘The Big Pedal’ one day challenge and second place overall in the UK. Pictured are pupils Pollan Doherty, Year 3, Hannah McLaughlin, Year 7, and Samuel McConaghie, Year 1, who accepted the awards on behalf of the school. DER2125GS - 007

She said: “Our children have had to deal with a lot of change in their young lives over the last 15 months. Lockdown impacted greatly upon their ability to come to school daily or even to get out and about with family and friends. We believe that becoming more active and choosing healthier lifestyles positively impacts upon the health and well-being of our children.

“We have been actively involved in the Sustrans programme over the past few years and have already achieved our Bronze Award. We were delighted to be given the opportunity to take part in The Big Pedal Challenge again this year. Although we entered the competition for the ‘One Day Challenge’ our families went a step further by “ditching the car” to walk, scoot, cycle and even skateboard to school over a two-week period.

“I myself walked to school every day over that fortnight as I always feel it is important to ‘practice what you preach’ so to speak.

“We raised awareness of this fantastic challenge through our digital assembly, letters to parents, pupil incentive charts and through social media. Our ultimate aim was to encourage as many parents, pupils, staff and friends of Culmore P.S. to become more active each day when travelling to and from school. Anyone who lived some distance from school opted into a ‘stop and walk’ approach.

Clare McMenamin said staff, parents and pupils were ‘absolutely delighted to hear that we achieved first place in Northern Ireland for the One-day Challenge’.

“When we heard that we had also been awarded second place over the whole of the UK we just couldn’t believe it.

“We want to express our sincere thanks to all of our Culmore P.S. families and friends for taking part in this fantastic challenge. We would also like to express our gratitude to Richard Farrow from Sustrans who has motivated and guided us along the way. We were delighted with our wonderful trophy, bike rack and the amazing selection of prizes for our school.”