Stick-on sideburns abound as Sunderland school holds Bradley Wiggins day

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STICK-ON sideburns and yellow jerseys were out in force as children tried to emulate an Olympic hero.

Pupils at Seaburn Dene Primary School held a special Bradley Wiggins day as part of the national Big Pedal competition.

Bradley Wiggins day at Seaburn Dene Primary School.'Eight year old Harry Marshall pupil dressed as the Olympic medal winning cyclist as part of a Big Pedal competition.

Bradley Wiggins day at Seaburn Dene Primary School.'Eight year old Harry Marshall pupil dressed as the Olympic medal winning cyclist as part of a Big Pedal competition.

Organised by national cycling charity Sustrans, it invites schools to come up with innovative ways to encourage staff, pupils and parents to consider using bikes and scooters to travel to school.

Seaburn Dene Primary’s event included a free Bikers’ Breakfast to encourage students to pedal into school early, a large screen cycling simulator and a Bradley Wiggins look-a-like competition.

One of the competition winners was Harry Marshall.

The eight-year-old, whose favourite sport is cycling, said he watched gold-medal winner Bradley during the London 2012 games.

The judging panel included Sunderland councillor Pat Smith, headteacher Maxine Purdy and Sustrans schools officer Sam Laing.

Mrs Purdy praised the effort by parents and pupils in making costumes and decorating bikes and scooters.

She added: “Our children and their families are really getting involved, and we’re really looking forward to seeing some fantastic costumes and decorated bikes and scooters.

“Cycling is a huge part of life in our school, from our reception class learning how to ride their bikes with and without stabilisers to our older children carrying out a road safety survey of the surrounding streets to see what might be preventing even more children from cycling or riding their scooters to school.” Coun Smith said: “Encouraging children to walk, bike and scooter to school will help with traffic in the area and car congestion in the neighbouring housing estates.”

Seaburn Dene Primary is just one of a number of schools across Sunderland taking part in the Big Pedal competition.

Prizes including a visit from BMX Champion Danny Butler and a new bike act as incentives for pupils to ride their cycles or scooters to school, which are logged as interactive miles on a virtual Tour of Britain.

Sunderland youngsters have logged 15,966 journeys to school.

Sam Laing said: “Schools across Sunderland are getting really excited about The Big Pedal this year.

“Many of the teachers used to cycle to school as kids and remember how much they loved it.

“What’s more, with one in five cars on the road during the morning peak being on the school run, encouraging children to walk, cycle and scoot reduces congestion and pollution around the school gates.”