Upminster students win national award for encouraging cycling

Cyclists Izzy Hazel, Kayleigh Locke, Anna Stodart and Harriett Honeywell on their bikes

Cyclists Izzy Hazel, Kayleigh Locke, Anna Stodart and Harriett Honeywell on their bikes - Credit: Archant

Upminster students got on their bikes to promote cycling and have won a national award for their work.

The students, who are Youth Travel Ambassadors for Coopers’ Company and Coborn School, were nominated for the Princess Diana award for encouraging their classmates to ride their bikes.

The school, in St Mary’s Lane, said the ambassadors from Years 7, 8 and 11 were selected for their “ambitious and forward-thinking campaign”.

They will be presented with the Princess Diana Award, for young people who make an active contribution to their local community, today.

One of the ambassadors, Kayleigh Locke, 13, said: “I started cycling because it’s a faster way to get to school and you get a lie-in because it’s quicker to get in.

“Some people don’t like cycling before school as it messes up your hair but it doesn’t really bother me. Besides you can always bring a brush and pretty yourself in the loos anyway.”

Fellow Ambassador, Izzy Hazael, 12, added: “I love cycling because I feel free and I love riding beside my two dogs on the weekends. I really think other girls (who are thinking about cycling) should just do it.”

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Classmate Harriett Honeywell, 13, said the free Biker Breakfasts they were offered if they ride their bikes to school encouraged her. She added: “I live quite close to school so my route is quite quiet.

“My favourite bit about cycling is when you go down a really big hill and you get that “whoa” feeling. I love that.”

The award comes after a number of activities from Havering Council to boost new ways of getting around the borough.

Events to promote cycling include free guided bike rides, the Beauty and the Bike roadshow and free bike training for those who feel they need extra support.

Cllr Barry Tebbutt, cabinet member for environment, said: “I would like to offer my congratulation to the students of Coopers’ Company and Coborn School for their amazing win.

“We are keen to encourage a new era of Havering cyclists so it’s great that the team from Coppers’ have taken on this mantle with such enthusiasm.”