Due to the great success of the BIKE TO SCHOOL project, held during bike week 2012, Kilkenny’s Smarter Travel Office has decided to give kids another opportunity to earn one of the fabulous “I Cycle Kilkenny” sweatshirts!
Bike to School Week will be re-run during ‘European Mobility Wee’ from September 16 to 22 and all children who cycle to and from school each day will get a free Fruit of the Loom embroidered Sweatshirt which carries the very colourful ‘I cycle kilkenny’ logo.
Due to the positive effect that this initiative has on children it was decided to re-run the scheme and encourage more children to get involved and cycle to school. This is organised by the Smarter Travel office which consists of representatives from Kilkenny County Council, Kilkenny Borough Council, WIT, Kilkenny Sports Partnership and the Health Promotion Department of the HSE. This group have been working collaboratively to ensure that Kilkenny becomes a ‘Smarter Travel’ City.
John Mulholland, Chairperson of Smarter Travel Kilkenny commented, “Despite the very inclement weather during ‘Bike Week’, children across the city and county braved the elements and were very worthy recipients of their ‘I cycle Kilkenny’ sweatshirts presented on Saturday last on Smarter Travel Saturday by Cllr Paul Cuddihy, Cathaoirleach of Kilkenny County Council.”
“We were very pleased with the positive effect that this little bit of encouragement gave the children and we want to continue that momentum and encourage more children to get on their bikes and cycle to and from school. The positive effect of regular exercise, both mentally and physically is well documented and it has been proven by a comprehensive survey conducted by WIT that Primary school children want to cycle to school,” added Mr Mulholland.
Schools that participated were St John’s Senior School, St. Patricks de la Salle, St John of God, Kilkenny School Project, Gael Scoil Osrai, CBS Primary, St Brendans NS Muckalee, St Mary’s Thomastown, Moneenroe NS, St Leonards Dunnamaggin, and Scoil Mhuire, Mooncoin.
It is hoped that many more children and schools will participate in the next round and that the percentage of children cycling to school will rise and remain on the increase for the betterment of our health and the environment.
The ‘Smarter Travel’ initiative aim is to promote and encourage people to get around by walking, cycling, using public transport and other forms of sustainable transport. It’s about encouraging people to change everyday journeys so that we use physical activity instead of the car to get to school, work, shops or visit friends. Smarter Travel is good for health, the environment and our pockets.
Part of the work of Smarter Travel Kilkenny included a survey of 2,300 children and adults in Kilkenny, conducted by The Centre for Health Behaviour in WIT under the guidance of Dr Niamh Richardson and Barry Lambe.
Conscious of the fact that members of the public may not have accessed this report, the group extracted some key messages from the report and those of you who are regular walkers along the banks of the Nore in the city will have noticed the colourful signage along Johns Quay and Bateman which aims to communicate some interesting facts about Smarter Travel: Facts like our rainfall being less that of Amsterdam have to endure, that only 2% oif adults cycle to work and that 20 bikes can be parked in the same space as car.