Thursday, 27 November 2008

Mountain biking partnership wheelie taking off in Watchet

FIVE top-of-the-range Marin mountain bikes have been given to Watchet Children’s Centre after it teamed up with West Somerset Council to secure £5,000 of funding.
The bikes will allow mums and dads of children using the centre (pictured) even more opportunities to enjoy the great outdoors.
A total of 21 mountain bikes have now been acquired for the children’s centres in Watchet and Williton.
District council community portfolio holder Councillor Neil Parbrook said: “This is a fantastic scheme.
“Parents can join the dads or mums groups while their children enjoy learning and play activities at the centres, and there are also family cycling events.
“The scheme is great at improving fitness and it gives people confidence in learning new skills as well as a good chance to socialise.
“It is so popular at Watchet and Williton that we are now going to trial it at Alcombe and Dulverton Children’s Centres.”
The council’s community officer, Liz Stewart, worked in partnership with the Watchet centre’s family support co-ordinator Sam Fahey to win funding for the bikes from Awards For All, Big Lottery Fund, and the South West Community Foundation Comic Relief Fund.
Councillor Parbrook said: “I would like to thank local cycle experts, Pompey’s, in Minehead, for helping to secure a good discount on the new bikes, essential equipment, and parts.”
The scheme includes beginners, intermediate, and advanced groups, and caters for all levels of fitness and skills.
As well as the groups currently running from the Williton and Watchet Children’s Centres, the scheme is being trialled at Alcombe Children’s Centre on December 10, with an open morning from 10 am to 12 noon when people can try out the bikes and have an informal chat.
Further taster sessions start in Alcombe on January 12. Free bikes, transport, and crèche facilities will be available.
Details of the taster sessions at Dulverton will be made available shortly.
Philip Sylvester, a member of the dads’ mountain biking group, said: “I needed something to get me away from the stresses of bringing up three kids on my own.
“I was reluctant at first but it has given me the lift I really needed and I have never looked back.”
Hayley Lake, a mums’ mountain bike member, said: “It is good fun and it is my free time to enjoy.
“I also feel like I now have more energy for my children and it is something I will be able to share with my boys in future.”
More information about the scheme or any other services running from the children’s centres is available by calling Sam Fahey on 01984 633655.

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