School students across Derbyshire are set to benefit from more cycling activities, events and competitions as the RDSSP welcomes new team member, Ruth Taylor.
Ruth is working to boost cycling participation levels in RDSSP member infant, junior and secondary schools including in the Derbyshire Dales and Hope Valley.
The 37 year-old says: “We’ve got so many ideas – at the moment we’re working to arrange the Bikeability scheme across the county and an Early Rider programme for young children to learn core biking skills including balance, co-ordination, agility and confidence. There’s so much going on at Hope Valley College which is absolutely great, but we need to get more of that passion and enthusiasm for cycling in schools across the county.”
The New Mills resident comes from a climbing and mountaineering background, having worked in the industry for 15 years after graduating from university, including as a climbing instructor at the National Mountain Sports Centre in Plas y Brenin. Following spinal surgery, she realised that carrying heavy rucksacks all the time wasn’t ideal and she developed a fond love for cycling.
Ruth says: “I am looking forward to bringing cycling to more people and getting youngsters involved. It’ll be so good to see students develop and their progression in sport and keeping track of how they’re doing over a period of time.”
“I think cycling is a life-skill, it’s like swimming. Every child should know how to cycle; it’s something you can use forever. Some people may not use it a lot, but it’s that idea that you’ve always got a mode of transport if you can ride a bike. It’ll help with coordination, balance and it gives great independence.”
Ruth will be working for one day a week with the RDSSP and a further two days every week with Derbyshire Dales District Council.
RDSSP Manager, Janice Price says: “For eighteen months or so now the RDSSP and Derbyshire Dales District Council have been talking about the different cycling opportunities there are in the district and how we felt we needed to capitalise on the huge surge of interest following the success at the Olympic and Paralympic Games, and of course the Tour de France visiting the UK.”
“The Dales lends itself so well to a wide range of cycling; from families wanting traffic free trails, off-road mountain biking tracks and bridleways for the more adventurous and importantly inclusive cycling at our newest disability hub based at Carsington Water Sports and Leisure.”
“Through joint external funding we have now successfully appointed Ruth to the role and we’re really looking forward to working with her to utilize her expertise and begin to pull all of these different strands together into a comprehensive cycle offering.”
Derbyshire Dales District Council