Video: How Sustrans is using BMX to steer East London kids away from gang culture
Bow Boys BMX Club gives vulnerable children a chance to take up the sport

Sustrans has released a video showing how its co-operation with a school in East London is helping local youngsters get into BMX and thereby steering them away from getting swept up by gang culture.

The Bow Boys BMX Club is the first Sustrans project that uses the BMX Pump tracks constructed under a London 2012 Olympics legacy project that is managed by Access Sport. 

The club holds after-school sessions each Thursday involving 17 children from
Years 7 to 9 of Bow Boys School in Tower Hamlets, some of whom talk about their involvement in the video.

Sustrans aims to roll the initiative out to other schools in deprived areas in London’s Olympic Boroughs, but first needs to secure £200,000 in funding.

According to Sustrans Bike It Officer James Scott, “Cycling is great way for kids to get active – it improves their health, helps them focus at school and boosts their self esteem.

“The BMX Club is a fantastic achievement for Bow Boys – it is the first of its kind in Tower Hamlets and possibly the capital.”

Dan Pitt, PE teacher at Bow Boys and Sustrans Bike It Champion, added: “Bow Boys strongly encourages healthy lifestyles for our students and believe cycling is a fantastic way to get active.

“We are always looking to expand opportunities for our students and hope that the BMX Club will help to address the gang culture in Tower Hamlets while providing students with a great sense of achievement.”

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.