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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.”

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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