The Big Pedal gets children across East Anglia on their bikes

‘The Big Pedal’ is run by the charity Sustrans, with the aim of getting people to ditch their car. Credit: ITV Anglia

Children across the east are taking part in the county's largest school competition involving cycling, scooting and walking. 

It comes amid rising concern about child obesity with research showing that many young people have done far less exercise during lockdown.

‘The Big Pedal’ is run by the charity Sustrans, with the aim of getting people to ditch their car and opt for an alternative way in. They hope to improve mental and physical health as well as reduce stress and anxiety. 

One of the schools taking part is Grange Primary Academy in Kettering. 

  • Hear why students at Grange Primary are getting involved in The Big Pedal:

Meanwhile young people at Pot Kiln Primary School in Suffolk say they may keep up cycling after enjoying the journey in.

It's to keep them mentally and physically healthy and it's really good to start the day off travelling actively. It increases mental alertness, it reduces anxiety and stress whilst increasing healthy habits and it gets them into a good routine going forward.

Natalie Watson, Sustrans

The event, which is in its 11th year, is especially important this year after almost one third of children reported not leaving the home during a typical day of lockdown. 

Pupils of all ages are taking part. Credit: ITV Anglia

30%

of children were not leaving the home during a typical day of lockdown

21%

of children aged 10-11 are considered obese

754,762

pupils registered with the Big Pedal

Young people are encouraged to get at least one hour of exercise a day, and organisers of the competition hope this will encourage people to get outside.