A government minister has been in the Worth Valley to see how district schools are generating enthusiasm for the Tour de France while also involving youngsters in healthy lifestyles.
Minister for Sport, Helen Grant, toured Stanbury, Haworth and Oxenhope primary schools last Thursday, accompanied by Keighley MP Kris Hopkins.
She said: “It was fantastic to be in the district, visiting local schools with Mr Hopkins as part of the build-up to the Grand Depart.
“It’s going to be a brilliant event that will showcase Yorkshire to the world, boosting local tourism and encouraging more people to get on their bikes and take up the sport – a sport at which Britain excels.
“The excitement and enthusiasm amongst the children was palpable, and it was great to get the chance to hear about some of the initiatives taking place. Best of luck to the kids at Haworth Primary School, who are taking part in a challenge to cycle the entire Tour de France on static cycles – a real feat!”
Mr Hopkins added: “I’m very proud to have supported the original bid for Yorkshire to host the Grand Depart and, alongside my neighbouring MP Julian Smith, to have played a pivotal role in delivering a £10 million government support package for the event.
“Sport is part of the fabric of Keighley and Ilkley, most recently demonstrated by the biggest and best ever BigK 10K race.
“There is much local excitement about the prospect of the world’s largest annual sporting event coming to the Worth Valley. This is replicated in Addingham, Silsden, Ilkley and the centre of Keighley, where the Tour will also visit. It was particularly pleasing to see the enthusiasm on the faces of the children we met. I firmly believe the race weekend will deliver memories to last them a lifetime.”
Haworth Primary headteacher, Helen Thompson, said: “This was a fabulous opportunity to showcase the work we are doing in school to develop children’s understanding of healthy lifestyles.
“We are harnessing every opportunity to give a meaningful context to learning, and we’re looking forward to launching a whole school focus on the Grand Depart later in the term.
“The Tour will really put Haworth and the surrounding area onto the world arena, and it’s fantastic to be part of that journey.”