Children and young people from over 160 schools across Yorkshire will be taking part in a cycling relay covering 12 local authority areas over the next four weeks.
The Schools Yorkshire Tour relay will start on Tuesday 5 June as part of national Bike Week. The relay will see pupils from primary, secondary and special schools in Yorkshire pass a baton over 400 miles from the start in Pickering to its final destination in Leeds on Tuesday 3 July.
The tour has been organised by 12 Yorkshire local authorities in partnership with Welcome to Yorkshire, West Yorkshire Combined Authority Sustrans and PWLC Projects.
A baton will be passed by school children and young people from school to school and local authority to local authority along a pre-planned route across Yorkshire. In addition, there will be a variety of events planned at some of the schools taking part in the relay along the route and at historic locations.
The event starts in North Yorkshire and passes through East Riding, York, Doncaster, Rotherham, Sheffield, Barnsley, Wakefield, Kirklees, Bradford and Calderdale before ultimately finishing in Leeds with a massive celebration event at Leeds Civic Hall attended by The Lord Mayor of Leeds, Welcome to Yorkshire’s Sir Gary Verity. The young cyclists will also be able to meet Brian Robinson BEM who was the first Briton to finish the Tour de France and the first to win a Tour stage.
The route uses the existing road network and off-road cycleways. A number of famous landmarks will form the backdrop to the route and baton handovers between districts, including the historic Stamford Bridge Viaduct and Whitby Abbey, as well as the historic cobbled main street of Haworth, the famous Five Raise Locks on Leeds Liverpool canal and the historic town of Saltire.
Jayne Dunn, cabinet member for education and skills at Sheffield City Council said: “The Schools Yorkshire Tour is a fantastic opportunity for children and young people to be part of something exciting. It will not only help our young people gain valuable cycling and road safety skills, but also highlight that cycling is great exercise, which can help improve their health.”
Sir Gary Verity DL, Chief Executive at Welcome to Yorkshire, said: “The Schools Yorkshire Tour is a tremendous initiative and seeing it grow over the last 12 months has been really exciting. Welcome to Yorkshire are delighted to be involved in this fantastic project which promotes healthy living, environmentally friendly travel, and brings young people from across the county together.”
Pupils from the schools taking part in the cycle relay will also be able to take part in a ‘bling a bike’ competition – the winners of which will be invited to attend the celebration event at the end of the tour.
The Schools Yorkshire Tour 2018 is being supported by YPO, Streetbikes, The Works skate park, Child Friendly Leeds and Active Schools Leeds.