Sunderland pupils take on 60-mile cycle challenge

The Mayor and Mayoress of Sunderland, Coun. Stuart Porthouse and his wife Marie  pictured with staff and pupils from Grange Park Primary School, Swan Street, Southwick, Sunderland, the before they set off on their 70 mile cycle challenge on Saturday.

The Mayor and Mayoress of Sunderland, Coun. Stuart Porthouse and his wife Marie pictured with staff and pupils from Grange Park Primary School, Swan Street, Southwick, Sunderland, the before they set off on their 70 mile cycle challenge on Saturday.

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PUPILS at a Sunderland school got on two wheels for a 60-mile cycle challenge.

Youngsters from Grange Park Primary School, in Monkwearmouth, were cheered on by Sunderland Mayor Stuart Porthouse as they set off.

Ten riders took on a route which saw them cover 30 miles uphill to Consett in County Durham on the sea-to-sea cycleway, before returning to the school via the Derwent Valley, Newcastle and the Shields Ferry the following day.

The children, most of them aged 10, were joined by teachers and staff from the sustainable transport charity Sustrans.

The ride was part of an ongoing programme of activities delivered by Sustrans including training in cycle skills, safety checks and bike maintenance sessions.

Sam Laing, Sustrans schools officer for Sunderland, said: “The ride is a bit of a reward for the achievements made by those taking part and is also a reflection of how cycling at the school is developing, with pupils staff and parents all keen to get involved.

“Encouraging children to travel to and from school under their own steam is a great way to add exercise into their day to day routines.”

“This results in healthier, more active children and often leads to improvements in the classroom.”

Sustrans works in schools across Tyne and Wear, in partnership with Go Smarter, which encourages pupils and parents to make cheaper, greener and healthier journeys to school.