2020 Bikeability Awards: School Governor / Employee of the Year – Winner – Gemma Downing

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A national Bikeability award programme is held every year to reward and promote the amazing work that the Bikeability industry and trainees do.   Further background.

Gemma is a teacher at Ide Primary School in Devon. She started in this small village school 2 years ago when they were lacking in activities for the children to become active. Gemma took up this challenge  & has transformed the PE lessons, after school clubs, Bikeability delivery & even helping other teachers to develop their PE activity with children.

The 130 pupils in the school all took part in the national school challenge, organised by Sustrans – The Big Pedal 2019. They came 4th in Devon & 94th nationally.

This was amazing – the school was excited, and so were the children  to be cycling to school, even if the travel through the village road can be ‘challenging’ with the traffic.

Then, at Christmas they took part in Sustrans Leg it Lapland winter challenge and came 3rd in Devon.

All the hard work & promotion to parents & children is all down to Gemma’s commitment to the children learning & leading healthier life styles. Ide School is becoming a ‘sugar smart & healthy eating’ school too. The bake sales have stopped & become snack shacks raising money for the PTA.

Gemma has also helped to raise the profile of the school in the local community & arranged various sports matches with other local schools.

Bikeability is taught at the school and this year it is being introduced to the younger children. The school has a bike club on a Tuesday after school open to all the school to help build confidence, safety & maintenance of the children’s bikes.

Early Years children have also been included by Gemma, when previously they may have been overlooked. And there are new balance bikes & trikes to get the children started, in cycling. Hopefully there will be more to come when storage space allows.

All the children & staff love Gemma’s enthusiasm, encouraging the children to be active, especially cycling. Fingers crossed for the fundraising for bike & scooter storage!

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