We have teamed up with Flying Start Children’s Centre and Ride On, an Exeter-based charity that delivers bikes and training to local primary schools, to give one local family an early Christmas present – the chance to get active in 2015.
Martyn Laxton, founder of Ride On, approached Jamie Vittles, Head of Community at FITC, to see if the Grecians knew of any deserving children in Exeter who would benefit from bicycles and training on how to look after them.
“The request we received from Ride On was very unusual, but Martyn knew we worked with lots of agencies across the area and would be able to facilitate his donation,” said Jamie Vittles, Head of Community at Exeter City. “We are keen to support all areas of health and fitness, particularly where it concerns children, so we’re very grateful to Flying Start and Ride On for helping the Raynor family this Christmas.”
Cassandra Raynor and her children, Bobby, 3, and Lilly, 4, from St James were presented with their bicycles at Ride On’s headquarters, on Haven Banks, on Saturday morning – just in time for Christmas.
“We will be able to go out as a family and the kids can get some exercise while at the same time having lots of fun,” Cassandra said. “Their older brother, Zack, is very keen on cycling, so he will be able to help them. I’m so grateful to Ride On.”
Martyn Laxton believes that if just one parent also has access to an affordable, roadworthy bike then their children are more likely to cycle regularly. This brings benefits to the whole family of improved fitness, better concentration, increased confidence and less likelihood of obesity or mental health problems in later life.
“A child who misses out on access to a safe bike misses out on a right of passage as a child and it's hard to believe in the 21st century we have that situation here in Exeter,” Martyn said. “I am delighted that the Raynor family are going into the New Year looking forward to their freedom provided by Ride On and the cycle route network around Exeter.”