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Denise Lewis backs Bikeability drive for 1,000 new instructors

Cycling proficiency body aims to teach 500,000 to ride safely by 2012

Former Olympic heptathlon champion Denise Lewis has backed a scheme from Cycling England that will see cycling proficiency body Bikeability employ over 1,000 cycling instructors to teach half a million children to ride a bike safely by 2012.

Ms Lewis, who won gold at the Athens Olympics in 2004 and has three children herself, regularly lends her support to Bikeability and told the BBC News website that she viewed cycling as “a key life skill.”

She added that she believed it was "important that we give children the chance to learn how to cycle safely and independently. My kids love cycling outside in the fresh air, and I love seeing the sense of independence it gives them, but it's really important to make sure they get the right training from day one."

Paul Robinson, training manager at Bikeability England, told the BBC that "Bikeability is quite unlike the old cycling proficiency scheme and instead offers real on the road training. That's why we want parents not only to welcome Bikeability training for their own children but to actively become part of its delivery."

He went on to say that instructors – who can benefit from a raining bursary, and income of up to £20,000 afterwards – “are at the frontline of our nationwide campaign to get 500,000 children Bikeability trained by 2012.”

More information on Bikeability can be found on the scheme’s website, at

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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