The children of Rawdon Littlemoor Primary School were ready with their bicycles and scooters as they welcomed Olympic triathlete Jonny Brownlee to join them at the grand opening of the school’s new purpose-built cycle track.
Cycling enthusiast and recently retired Head Teacher Shelagh Henderson joined Jonny in the inaugural first lap on her beloved Pashley bicycle.
In her 13 year tenure as Headteacher, Shelagh and her staff tirelessly promoted cycling and scootering amongst pupils and parents. Last year saw the school receive the Gold Level STARS award (the only primary school in the county to achieve this accolade) for their efforts to increase levels of walking, cycling and other forms of sustainable transport. Inspired by Shelagh’s enthusiasm, staff and pupils worked hard to raise £30,000 towards the cost of the cycle track.
Rawdon Littlemoor is fully committed to developing children’s understanding and enjoyment of sport and exercise and the installation of the cycle track marks the addition of an exciting new ‘spoke’ to the children’s outdoor activities. Pupils will be able to use the track daily to scoot or cycle on at lunchtimes, in extracurricular clubs and in PE lessons.
Headteacher Julie Beardwell commented ‘We are passionate about enabling all children to have fun and learn through a broad and balanced education. By providing our children with lots of different experiences and showing them what great role models, such as Jonny Brownlee, have achieved, we aim to give them the confidence and resilience to persevere and excel in their lives.’
Both Jonny Brownlee and his brother Alistair are inspirational role models for the children at Rawdon Littlemoor especially given that their swim training in their early days took place at local Aireborough Leisure Centre where many of the children also have lessons and swim for fun.
Julie added that ‘ through the opening Jonny inspired our children, raced against Shelagh Henderson and then ran around the pitch to support a Reception child cycling. After, in the school hall, Cameron and Zachary Bojas brothers in year 5 and year 3 showed Jonny the trophies they’ve won from Aireborough swim meetings which also have Jonny’s name on. We think the Bojas, from Rawdon Littlemoor, could be the next Brownlees¬!