The Big Pedal: Jarrow children claim top ten place in national cycling challenge

A primary school has secured a top ten placing in a national cycling challenge after hundreds of others across the UK.

By Ross Robertson
Monday, 24th May 2021, 3:04 pm
Pupils from St Mary's are all smiles after their cycling success

St Mary’s Catholic Primary School which is part of Bishop Chadwick Catholic Education Trust, came sixth out of around 700 schools nationally in The Big Pedal, a challenge organised and sponsored by cycling charity Sustrans,

Throughout the five-day challenge, 98% of pupils, parents and teachers cycled or used their scooter to get to school and back.

Marie Graham, acting executive headteacher at St Mary’s Primary School, praised both the organisers and the children and staff involved in the challenge.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

“It’s wonderful to do so well in a national cycling competition and promote the importance of being active in leading a fit and healthy life,” she said.

“As part of our personal, social, health and economic (PSHE) curriculum, we teach the children about healthy lifestyles and why exercise is a key part of this, discussing fun ways to stay active such as cycling and using a scooter.

“The response to the challenge has been amazing and I’m so proud of all pupils, parents and staff who got involved. We’re the only school in the North East to make the top 10 which we’re very pleased about.

“Huge thanks to our whole school community for such an achievement. The best part is that families are keeping up the good work and continuing to cycle or use their scooter to get to school. Well done.”

The Big Pedal is an inter-school cycling and scooter challenge that’s aimed to encourage children to use take active journeys to school promoting healthier, greener ways of travelling.

It comes amid efforts to get more families out of their cars and into using greener and healthier ways to get about, including cycling and walking.

Cory Workman, a pupil in Year 4 at St Mary’s, said: “I had great fun riding my bike to school and back. I know we aren’t doing the challenge anymore, but I am still cycling to school and back home because it’s much healthier for me and it’s better for the environment".

To find out more about the initiative, visit:

Support your Gazette and become a subscriber today. Enjoy unlimited access to local news, the latest football stories and new puzzles every day. With a digital subscription, you can see fewer ads, enjoy faster load times, and get access to exclusive newsletters and content. Click here to subscribe.