Yet Another Cycling Forum

General Category => Freewheeling => Topic started by: telstarbox on October 29, 2019, 09:02:22 am

Title: Cycling as school sport/PE?
Post by: telstarbox on October 29, 2019, 09:02:22 am
When I was at secondary school in the 2000s, our sports diet was mainly rugby in the winter, cricket in the summer and a few other sports in parallel (I remember badminton, volleyball, cross country and gym circuits). In sixth form we could choose from a wider list which included swimming and judo.

A few pupils cycled to school but it wouldn't have been more than 20 out of the total of 800 of us. The catchment area extended beyond the immediate town into a large rural and fairly hilly area. 

As cycling has grown in popularity since then, do any schools now offer cycling as a PE option? Possible barriers are the relatively high cost of the gear and a lack of trained instructors?
Title: Re: Cycling as school sport/PE?
Post by: Jurek on October 29, 2019, 10:00:18 am
I've seen boys from Dulwich College riding at Herne Hill Velodrome.
Title: Re: Cycling as school sport/PE?
Post by: orienteer on October 29, 2019, 10:05:36 am
At school in the 1950s at the Angel, Islington, the school playing fields were in Whetstone (just south of Barnet). Eventually they couldn't cope with the numbers in the sixth form, and said we could take up any sport we liked for the afternoon, wherever.

So some of us chose cycling and went for a bike ride.
Title: Re: Cycling as school sport/PE?
Post by: matthew on October 29, 2019, 10:11:53 am
When I was in the sixth form ('98-00) we had the options of table tennis, and cycling in addition to the traditional sports. For the cycling I just had to bring my bike to school and register the route I was going to ride. For me this was a ~10 mile loop through Windsor Great Park that required a small quantity of B roads to get to and from the park. I don't know if it is still offered and it definitely wasn't structured training or supervised very closely, I believe most cyclists just rode home as PE was last thing on a Wednesday.
Title: Re: Cycling as school sport/PE?
Post by: Wobbly John on October 29, 2019, 10:43:07 am
I work at a school.

With the greater awareness of Health & Safety and Safeguarding, as well as reduced budgets and Acadamy culture, I think it is unlikely  for schools to introduce cycling as a sports activity.

There does seem to be an increase in junior clubs/coaching. Our local club runs one.
Title: Re: Cycling as school sport/PE?
Post by: FifeingEejit on October 29, 2019, 11:08:30 am
Think Fife council offer it, but it's council hired/owned MTBs at the most appropriate local facility, so the school I went to probably takes most of the afternoon taking the bikes and kids to the forest next to Tayport only to return them back to StAndrews later on and then for around 3/4 of the kids to get back on a bus to the towns along the coast from the forest.
Title: Re: Cycling as school sport/PE?
Post by: Kim on October 29, 2019, 11:21:08 am
Seems unlikely, schools generally preferring sports that involve a minimum of equipment, and keeping all the kids in one place where a teacher can shout at them.  Probably only an activity for sixth formers[1], or schools that happen to have access to a suitable off-road track.

Naturally I'm all in favour of sporting activities that don't involve teams, balls or bullies armed with hockey sticks.


[1] When I was in the sixth form, I opted for unsupervised swimming at the local pool, which was well worth the additional cost as it meant that most of my tormentors would be somewhere else.  I think most of us only turned up for the first couple of sessions.
Title: Re: Cycling as school sport/PE?
Post by: Greenbank on October 29, 2019, 11:25:54 am
I did a bit of cycling at secondary school (a bog standard comprehensive albeit in rural Cambridgeshire) in the final year so we were all 15 or 16. This would have been the early 90s though.

From hazy memory there were about 8 or so (out of 120 in our year) and we did it for less than half a term (something like 4 or 5 weeks). We only did 10-15 miles around the local villages.

The people that did it were mostly already cycling to/from school. I usually got a school bus but cycled in on these days (I lived 5 miles away).

I think it only happened due to a lucky break in the lesson scheduling. There were 4 full time PE teachers (2 male, 2 female) for a secondary school of 600 pupils. The cycling happened because another teacher (also one of the Maths and IT teachers) must have been free. Without him being free they probably couldn't leave a single teacher in charge of the remaining lot.

It was only boys who did this cycling. I've no idea whether that was because none of the girls were interested (several cycled to school from the surrounding villages) or whether it would have required a female teacher to come along too (and there wasn't one willing/spare).

No idea about current secondary schools although I'll be starting to visit those next year to see where my daughter will go. Her year (Y5) have just done their Bikeability training in the playground. 10 or so out of the 210 children cycle in but the school doesn't have any space to store bikes on site which probably limits things as they're left to lock them up on the street at nearby racks which is less than ideal.

I do see some local schools doing their Bikeability training on the residential roads near me.

Can't imagine many secondary schools would get much call for it, as Wobbly John says, the perceived H&S nightmare would scare off many schools.
Title: Re: Cycling as school sport/PE?
Post by: Ian H on October 29, 2019, 12:11:35 pm
I work at a school.

With the greater awareness of Health & Safety and Safeguarding, as well as reduced budgets and Acadamy culture, I think it is unlikely  for schools to introduce cycling as a sports activity.

There does seem to be an increase in junior clubs/coaching. Our local club runs one.

Yes, my club does similar under the Go Ride scheme.
Title: Re: Cycling as school sport/PE?
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on October 29, 2019, 12:20:38 pm
When I was in the sixth form ('98-00) we had the options of table tennis, and cycling in addition to the traditional sports.
Probably only an activity for sixth formers[1], or schools that happen to have access to a suitable off-road track.

[1] When I was in the sixth form, I opted for unsupervised swimming at the local pool, which was well worth the additional cost as it meant that most of my tormentors would be somewhere else.  I think most of us only turned up for the first couple of sessions.
Sixth forms, at least all the ones my son's been looking at, no longer do PE.
Title: Re: Cycling as school sport/PE?
Post by: Giropaul on October 29, 2019, 12:26:48 pm
https://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&ved=2ahUKEwjCjfSru8HlAhUQbcAKHbwEBDsQFjAAegQIAxAB&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cyclederby.co.uk%2Fschools&usg=AOvVaw3uto6miz149oHea4N4PKxb

Cycle derby cover virtually all primary, and many private, schools across Derbyshire
This includes cyclo cross and after school club support
Title: Re: Cycling as school sport/PE?
Post by: Kim on October 29, 2019, 12:30:34 pm
When I was in the sixth form ('98-00) we had the options of table tennis, and cycling in addition to the traditional sports.
Probably only an activity for sixth formers[1], or schools that happen to have access to a suitable off-road track.

[1] When I was in the sixth form, I opted for unsupervised swimming at the local pool, which was well worth the additional cost as it meant that most of my tormentors would be somewhere else.  I think most of us only turned up for the first couple of sessions.
Sixth forms, at least all the ones my son's been looking at, no longer do PE.

Lucky bastards.


(TBH, I still can't quite work out how PE works in modern schools.  Presumably the traditional torrent of body-shaming/misogyny/homophobia/disablism from the PE teachers is no longer a thing, which leaves me wondering what they actually shout... I presume they still have plenty of mud, thobut.)
Title: Re: Cycling as school sport/PE?
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on October 29, 2019, 12:40:44 pm
Mostly they sit on a bus for 30 minutes to get to the nearest available site now all the playing fields have classrooms built on them or have been sold for housing, then they do some sport which, yes, still involves teams and balls, then they get the bus back. Modern PE teachers are "Really chill. They know no one really wants to do PE so they're just like, this is football skills for you."
Title: Re: Cycling as school sport/PE?
Post by: FifeingEejit on October 29, 2019, 12:47:40 pm
From my former school's PE page
http://www.madras.fife.sch.uk/departments/health_wellbeing/PE/s1_s3.html

"Pupils in S1 can opt into elective courses in Mountian Biking and/or Orienteering in addition to their two periods of core Physical Education."

So note a "core" PE element for 12 to 15 years olds but something they can opt to do.

When I was there the head of PE was part of the Village Cricket Championship winning team from Freuchie and was then Coach of the Kirkcaldy rugby team.
Unsurprisingly in the fixed rota of sports in S1 to S3 a lot of time was spent playing rugby or cricket, including indoor cricket if the rugby pitches were too waterlogged to play on.
Swimming and Football were token subjects (1 teacher each) given a similar amount of attention as highland Dance; Summer athletics were serious though because the PE teacher with the most interest in it left hibernation and took the whole block (1/3 of a 300 kid year) out into the athletics field (of which the school currently has 2).

S4 to S5 was an entire afternoon spent at one of the 2 sites (the school is spread over 3 sites) with sports facilities beyond the basketball court and swimming pool at the oldest site. Which we had to get ourselves to during lunch.
The one saving element was when I was too slow to pick sports in S6 and found myself with Cross Country Running in both sports afternoons, I was too slow to have to do the West Sands extension and therfore didn't have to pretend to be recreating the start of Chariots of fire while stumbling around in the sand.
Title: Re: Cycling as school sport/PE?
Post by: MikeFromLFE on October 29, 2019, 07:49:05 pm
Rewind to 1970 (or maybe 71)
School PE was football in the winter, or running round in circles if you weren't good enough for cricket, in the summer.

For those of you who know that London, school was in Crouch End and the playing fields were in Winchmore Hill -  Really convenient!  (The school was near Harringay station and has been demolished; the playing fields were next to the Police Station in WH, I think there's a Sainsburys there now).
We were given prepaid bus tickets for the journey - which led to a huge black market in these tickets as small boys became expert at fiddling the system.

My way of making an extra couple of bob a week was to cycle to the (so called) games for the afternoon, and sell on the bus tickets.
But - I never made any secret of my disdain for team sports (or any other form of exercise except cycling).

Eventually the PE masters* tumbled to my dislike of their chosen form of brutality, and after a short period of negotiation, it was agreed that I would spend games afternoons cycling.
I seem to recall that I did actually cycle further than home on a couple of occasions! I also seem to recall that if I was asked where I'd been, I'd give  a precis of the previous Sunday's CTC section ride.
I never did get caught out, but when my bike was stolen from school, because it was recognised that I was a 'serious cyclist' I was allowed to keep my 'new' bike in a Seekrit Bunker under the headmaster's office!

The thing that school 'sport' taught me for life was how to screw the system.

 *(we had masters, not teachers, and certainly never, ever a female. And, I am convinced to this day that one of the PE masters was a card carrying paedophile^)
^(Weren't they all prior to about 1980?)
Title: Re: Cycling as school sport/PE?
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on October 29, 2019, 08:23:28 pm
The thing that school 'sport' taught me for life was how to screw the system.
Isn't this what it's meant to do? Called 'gamesmanship'?
Title: Re: Cycling as school sport/PE?
Post by: Kim on October 29, 2019, 08:29:55 pm
The thing that school 'sport' taught me for life was how to screw the system.

A lesson I only really learned too late.
Title: Re: Cycling as school sport/PE?
Post by: Wowbagger on October 30, 2019, 10:03:32 am
When I was in the sixth form (1970-72) it was decreed that the whole o Wednesday afternoon would become an Activities Afternoon. You had to do something and it had to be sport, but the scope was pretty wide.

Fishing wasn't on the list until I approached the HT and then it was. It was logistically quite tricky taking 2 10' pike rods and appropriate reels, lures and smelly bait into school, along with wellies and something to sit on. But I managed!
Title: Re: Cycling as school sport/PE?
Post by: trekker12 on October 30, 2019, 01:14:09 pm
This has changed into 'activities week'. Kids spend a week doing a thing or a few things during that week. The activities don't take a whole week but Mrs Trekker (she's a teacher) went on a two day trip with the kids to Le Touquet the last two years in which they visited a snail farm and went sand yachting on the beach (but didn't go in the sea because that was a whole other set of paperwork).

Before that Mrs trekker accompanied the kids on a bike ride for activities week. It wasn't PE though. it hasn't happened since, possibly because one boy fell off his bike and cut his knee or possibly because the person who organised it moved on to a different school. I don't know.

Quote
You had to do something and it had to be sport, but the scope was pretty wide

Activities week is even wider these days, one bus load went shopping in Lakeside
Title: Re: Cycling as school sport/PE?
Post by: yorkie on October 30, 2019, 03:07:41 pm
A special school in York has PE/sport sessions that include the option of cycling.

They come to the York Sport Village Cycle Circuit once a week in term time to use our large array of adapted bikes and trikes. There are 2 sessions, one for under 16s and one for over 16s.

There is a wide range of abilities, from wheelchair users who go on the wheelchair carrying machine, to students who are able to ride 2 wheels under supervision, via trike users and those who can pedal one of the tandems but need a carer to operate the steering and brakes.
Title: Re: Cycling as school sport/PE?
Post by: mrcharly-YHT on October 30, 2019, 05:44:51 pm
I'm not involved in school sports anymore.

Anecdotally, it is as narrowminded as ever.

A parent told me that her daughter, and another lad (who is from the canoe club), are considered 'mediocre' as sport in their school.

Both of these young teens are in the canoe 'Future Champions' program. Only 70 in the country get into that, it is very, very competitive. Both of them have drive, strength, high V02Max and physical skill.

Mediocre? I don't think either are future world champion level, but they are only one notch below that potential.

They probably aren't much good at football.
Title: Re: Cycling as school sport/PE?
Post by: MikeFromLFE on October 30, 2019, 06:01:53 pm
I'm not involved in school sports anymore.
Anecdotally, it is as narrowminded as ever.
A parent told me that her daughter, and another lad (who is from the canoe club), are considered 'mediocre' as sport in their school.
Both of these young teens are in the canoe 'Future Champions' program. Only 70 in the country get into that, it is very, very competitive. Both of them have drive, strength, high V02Max and physical skill.
Mediocre? I don't think either are future world champion level, but they are only one notch below that potential.
They probably aren't much good at football.

This is a few notches above my son who was (despite his father's apathy) extraordinarily enthusiastic about Cross Country Running, and good enough to be running for the County, and did run in a couple of international races. He was pretty handy at summer long distance track as well.
The school (a specialist sports school at that) considered him to be 'below average' because (a) he wasn't interested in the sports that the teachers were interested in, and (b) had mild learning difficulties meaning he wasn't getting the marks in the written work associated with GCSE PE, but the school wouldn't put the resources in to supporting him (and as parents we didn't know then which buttons to push).

I like to think times have changed, but......
Title: Re: Cycling as school sport/PE?
Post by: Phil W on October 30, 2019, 08:25:27 pm
My niece teaches PE, and she's does take some out mtn  biking as part of the lessons.
Title: Re: Cycling as school sport/PE?
Post by: perpetual dan on October 30, 2019, 09:29:25 pm
Many moons ago, when I was in school 6th form, you could cycle for "games" (longer than PE). But it was a plan your own route, bring your own bike affair. A typical route may well have involved an extended stop at someone's house, but I couldn't tell you more as I was enjoying cross country running at that point - which also satisfied the "get away from the gits" criteria that Kim mentions.

Miss Dan the Younger's school has (I think) a mountain bike club, but not in lessons. She's never been, but is showing an interest in boxing.  ???

Miss Dan the Elder's college involves no physical activity that I can discern.
Title: Re: Cycling as school sport/PE?
Post by: drossall on October 30, 2019, 11:01:19 pm
My first trip up the Cat and Fiddle was on a school games afternoon around 1977. As sixth formers, we persuaded the PE teacher to allow it. One of us did abuse it by riding home (which he would have done anyway) and going round to discuss the shape of his new frame with the local builder, but the rest of us enjoyed some good rides.

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Title: Re: Cycling as school sport/PE?
Post by: Nightmare-1 on November 01, 2019, 01:36:21 am
Back in the late '70's we tried (unsuccessfully) to start a cycling group for P.E.(Games) instead of "Cross country".
Their main argument against it was that not everybody had a bike. My response was something along the lines of

"Well if they ain't got a bike they can't do it can they?"  And

"We go swimming on a Wednesday and some can't even swim! So they play Table tennis instead. So the ones without a bike can "Run"".

The Headmaster said it was a good try BUT not going to happen. :(

Our best lesson was English(language not Literature) with Mr Hornby, He used to take us out to Scadbury Manor Grounds where we chose a tree and recorded it's growth/wellbeing/state over the course of the year, Mainly it got us outside for an hour & twenty minutes.
Then he had a bad motorbike accident and left shortly afterwards.
Title: Re: Cycling as school sport/PE?
Post by: mark on November 01, 2019, 07:28:44 pm
Mountain bike racing is becoming a thing in Colorado schools, a friend of mine started volunteering to help at meets when her daughter got involved, and continued volunteering after her daughter went on to university. Definitely attracts males and females around here, and seems to attract a wide range of abilities and skill levels. The last time I went running on a local trail I encountered a local school team out for a training ride. I was floored by the sheer number of them (a few dozen), all very courteous. The age range seemed to be more than just high school (14-18). Cost of equipment and travel are definitely a factor, and the kids who race mountain bikes here definitely seem to come from more money than most. I'd love to see more kids cycling to and from school, but getting that to happen in the US will be a long uphill battle.
Title: Re: Cycling as school sport/PE?
Post by: Nightmare-1 on November 01, 2019, 08:02:10 pm
Nah!
It's quite easy.
Inform the local authorities how much they will save on their yearly budget.
IF They,
1, Change the law to make it illegal to drive to school.(no congestion or parking problems)
2,Stop all school bus service and tell them to either ride a bike or WALK!!!

Pretty much guarantee they'll ride a bike.


I mean, have you tried to gat an American to WALK anywhere?
Title: Re: Cycling as school sport/PE?
Post by: fd3 on November 09, 2019, 03:03:15 pm
Schools generally run a couple of hours' PE a week up to GCSE year as part of the healthy living govt aim.  Some schools allow students to drop PE in the GCSE year and some offer it as a GCSE or BTEC equivalent.  Sixth forms are less likely to offer PE A-level (or whatever it's called) as it's actually very challenging and includes a lot of Biology, so the Venn Diagram intersection between the academics to cope with it and the sportyness to want to do it is very small - making it often non-viable financially.

At GCSE cycling is not an option as a sport, it used to be and there was even a GCSE you could get by mountain biking, but DickheadGove put paid to that and now you can only do posh sports at GCSE (I believe cycling is out but horsey stuff is still there).

Schools can get bikeability people in and this is normally a free service, you just need to allow the students out of lesson for it.  When I was in secondary teaching we did this.  We also had an "enrichment" slot (think grammar school) and I would take students cycling - probably shouldn't have been allowed to do it as we technically needed two adults including a first aider, but we figured we were staying local, kids had level 3 bikeability and mobile phones in case of emergency. 

Our school required magic hats for all cyclists, not just those participating in school activities but also those commuting to school.
Title: Re: Cycling as school sport/PE?
Post by: Belgian Champ on March 22, 2020, 04:33:10 pm
This post brought back to mind;

In 1971 when (Sir) Jackie Stewart was the world champion Grand Prix driver, one evening I noticed in the local evening paper, that he was appearing at a Goodyear tyre depot some 20 miles away from where I lived.
John Burt and I hastily decided that our school was in need of a cycling club so next morning when we reached the crossroad of the A5 and the A34, a left turn towards Telford was taken instead of straight on to Cannock.

I remember now how exciting it was collecting lots of stickers and the great man's autograph. We were even more excited to discover that the event was being replicated later that day in Dudley, of course this was too good an opportunity to miss. Somewhat naively we thought that we had either beaten them to Dudley with our pace, or we knew the best route, when we arrived before the star man and his entourage.

Having bidden farewell to my comrade, it was home for a well earned meal. Didn't quite turn out that way! School had thought it somewhat odd that JB and myself were absent on the same day and phoned to see where we were, 10 minutes of comprehensively incriminating myself followed and what was possibly a deserved clout from Father (It was allowed then).

Quite soon after that we moved and I considered that the slate had been wiped clean, lesson learnt, never play truant on the same day as your best mate.
I also worked out why they wouldn't let us have one of the calendars at the tyre depots.