Children put at the heart of strategy to build on legacy of Tour de France’s visit to Yorkshire

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As the much-anticipated Yorkshire July debut of the Tour de France edges closer, children across Yorkshire are being urged to get cycling.

The local authority-backed region-wide Cycle Yorkshire legacy campaign is aiming to give everyone in the county access to a bicycle by 2023, and through cycling provision courses, taster sessions and a free educational pack, it is trying to tap into the younger generation.

Its strategy makes clear it aims to help “provide training courses and events so that children across the region are equipped with the set of skills, knowledge and enthusiasm to ride confidently and safely”.

In Leeds that cycling focus is more evident than ever. All city schools are being urged to get involved with the Leeds Schools Cycle Challenge on July 1, which will see children of all ages and abilities take to two wheels at Temple Newsam Park.

Leeds City Council has also made mountain bike rides, BMX challenges, races, cycle maintenance and safety workshops available at a number of sites. Coun Judith Blake, lead member for children’s services, said: “We couldn’t have such an important event happen in our city and not make sure children and young people are involved and able to share this fantastic experience, now and for many years to come thanks to the lasting legacy of the Tour.”

Young people with disabilities are also being urged to cycle through accessible sessions at Herd Farm and Lineham Farm, and adapted bike sessions at John Charles Centre for Sport.

The Yorkshire Post’s Let’s Get Cycling campaign is also encouraging Yorkshire residents to saddle up for the Tour by getting on their bikes and sending their cycling pictures and stories to jonathan.brown@ypn.co.uk.

Visit www.leeds.gov.uk for information on cycling in Leeds.

Meanwhile, three weeks of celebratory events are scheduled to mark the once-in-a-lifetime visit of the Tour de France to Otley. The Courthouse, in the market town, near Leeds, has put together a programme of festivities including workshops running throughout June.