?Schools in Suffolk Coastal are being given the opportunity to take part in this year’s Aviva Women’s Tour in a bid to encourage more children to take up cycling.

Primary schools along the route of the opening stage of the 2015 race which travels through the district on Wednesday 17 June, have been offered free cycling sessions with the chance for pupils to be chosen to take part in a race on the day of the Tour. Schools have also been invited to take part in a bike colouring competition to help to decorate the route of the race.

11 schools have now taken up the offer of free cycling sessions for Year 5 and 6 pupils. The sessions provided by RideSmart offer a fun and safe way to introduce children to the world of cycling and helps them to improve their bike handling and teamwork skills. Following two further sessions, RideSmart will then invite two girls and two boys to take part in cycling races on the day of the Aviva Women’s Tour in Aldeburgh. 

Ten schools have also taken part in the colouring competition which invited children of all age groups to come up with designs for wooden balance bikes which will used to decorate the route of the cycle race.  

Schools were then invited to pick two winning designs from their school and paint these onto wooden balance bikes. These will be placed outside the school gates or in a local shop window on the day of the race and will then be theirs to keep as a memento after the Aviva Women’s Tour.

Cllr TJ Haworth-Culf with responsibility for Customers, Communities and Leisure, said: “I’m really pleased to see our local schools engaging with this year’s Aviva Women’s Tour.

“I’m very proud that we are able to host this elite sporting event again in Suffolk Coastal, but once this event it’s all over, I hope most importantly it has helped to inspire people of all ages and abilities to get involved in the sport.”

Find out more about the Stage One route with official Ordnance Survey stage mapping by clicking here. You can also find spectator information for both Bury St Edmunds and Aldeburgh by clicking here.

Don't forget – join us for the free-to-attend Aviva Women's Tour team presentation from 5pm on Tuesday 16 June at Charter Square in Bury St Edmunds.