A Tour de Calderdale will take place among 20 schools in the area as teacher get a taste of the Grand Depart.
On June 23 and 24, 31 teachers, head teachers and school staff will be cycling 24.88 miles and stopping off at 20 schools, who will be hosting activities as the convoy of cyclists arrive, ranging from providing refreshments, right through to students doing demonstrations linked to the Tour.
The Tour will start at St Michael and All Angels CE Primary School in Shelf, before continuing on to Shelf Junior and Infant School, Northowram Primarys, Salterlee Academy Trust at Shibden, Withinfields Primary at Southowram, Siddal Primary, then William Henry Smith School, Field Lane Primary, Highbury, Castlefields Infants, all Rastrick, and finishing the first day at Longroyde Junior School, Brighouse.
The second day of the tour will visit Carr Green Primary, Woodhouse Primary, St Andrew’s Juniors, St Andrew’s Infants, all Brighouse, St John’s Academy at Clifton, Cliffe Hill Community Primary at Lightcliffe, Hipperholme and Lightcliffe High and St Joseph’s at Brighouse, before finishing at St Chad’s Primary, Hove Edge, Brighouse.
Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Children and Young People’s Services, Coun Megan Swift, said: “All the schools and teachers involved in the Tour de ECLC are gearing up for the ride, and putting the finishing touches to their activity and training plans.
“I’m sure they’ll all have an eventful couple of days, with challenges along the way, but it’s a great way to engage school children across East Calderdale, and help build excitement for the Tour de France.”
Calderdale Council’s Head of Learning Services, David Whalley, who is also taking part in the ride, said: “It will be a challenging couple of days for those involved, but a fantastic way for all the schools within the East Calderdale Learning Community to get involved and feel a part of the celebrations throughout Yorkshire for the Yorkshire Festival and the Tour de France.
“I’m not an experienced cyclist, but I’m sure the schools along the way and the staff involved will give me encouragement to help me complete the ride.”
Head teacher of St Chad’s CE (VA) Primary School, Graeme Genty, said: “The idea was to give all of the children a real sense of occasion and to do something very hands on and practical to gear them up for the Tour de France coming to Yorkshire. Also to get the staff in schools to face a cycling challenge which should hopefully inspire them to do some Tour de France work with the children back in class.
“We’ve had lots of volunteers to ride and represent their schools and they should be fine as long as they’ve put at least a few miles training in on their bikes. Unlike the Tour de France riders themselves though, we’ll have a minibus back up just in case any of them need a breather.”