Conall’s Bikeability instructor nominated him for a national Bikeability award – Trainee of the Year 2019, and tells his story here:
“I first met Conall on 17.9.2019. On arriving at the school I was advised by the Bikeability co-ordinator that they had a trainee who wanted to participate but could only ride his own hand powered tricycle. It was explained that Conall had had an operation a few years before, to remove the lower part of his right leg due to a rare bone cancer and now had an artificial limb.
Before the lesson I spoke to Conall and learnt that before the operation he was an avid cyclist and enjoyed riding with his Dad. I asked Conall whether he would like to participate in the first playground lesson on his trike or whether he would like to try riding a 2 wheel bike. Conall opted to try one of the Councils bikes and I spent a bit of time with him and his teacher explaining the technique of keeping his artificial limb on the right pedal, scooting with his left foot. I left his teacher with him to practise as I was needed to teach a separate group.
At the end of the lesson I was utterly amazed to find Conall managing to ride the bike by himself, using the method of scooting a few times with his left foot to gain motion to start pedalling. Conall was over the moon with his achievement and was very red and sweating profusely from all his hard work. We agreed with the teacher that Conall would keep practising on the playground during the week to perfect hand signals etc and that he would join another class the following week for the complete Level 2 course. During the week I was introduced to Conall’s mum who was so appreciative of the encouragement that had been given to Conall.
The next week, Conall exceeded all expectations by passing the Level 2 Bikeability.
Conall’s determination to succeed is so inspirational that his attitude affects all off those around him. I admire him so much as it was his own persistence and hard work which achieved his desirable end result of riding a 2-wheel bike. In my 4 years as a cycle instructor, Conall stands out by far as my most memorable trainee and one of my proudest moments as a Cycle instructor.”
Conall was awarded Runner-Up in the National Bikeability Trainee of the Year 2019 award. We asked him and his mum, Cara to say a few words about their experiences:
Conall explained that he loves cycling for the freedom it gives him, and he now cycles regularly – to school, the local park and along the seafront. The most important lesson for him from the training was that safety is the main consideration, and he found the Bikeability team made it really easy and fun to learn.
Cara, his mum said: “Conall’s confidence to achieve new things after his amputation has increased tenfold. Personally I can’t wait until the Bikeability team instil the same confidence in Conall’s younger sister. “
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