Midlothian youngsters have a great chance to enjoy the thrills of mountain biking, after Mayfield and Easthouses Youth 2000 project received an award of £6,700 from the Coalfields Regeneration Trust.
The cash will be used to buy ten top-of-the-range mountain bikes, along with helmets and repair kits and make the bikes available to local young people who don’t have one of their own.
Y2K also plan to run an eight-week course on bike maintenance and encourage those taking part to become ‘cycle leaders’ and go on to become mentors to fledgling cyclists, while some of the course leaders can earn a formal qualification.
The course will include weekly trips on local cycle paths, and at least one trip to Glentress, Scotland’s dedicated mountain biking centre near Peebles.
Local MSP Colin Beattie has already praised the project in a Scottish Parliamentary motion, signed by 19 of his fellow MSPs.
Colin, who presented the cheque to Y2K staff member Tommy Campbell, said: “I think this a really good project that will encourage young people to take up cycling, which is a really healthy and environmentally friendly way to get around.
“I am also impressed with the plans to introduce a mentoring course, and give some young people the chance to get a formal qualification in bike maintenance”.
Tom McAughtrie, Scottish Trustee of the Coalfields Regeneration Trust said: “We are delighted to support this project which meets some of our key objectives in terms of training for employment and encouraging people to adopt a healthy lifestyle”.
Sharon Stoddart of Y2K said: “This all began because we wanted to run some cycling activities, but we quickly discovered that many local youngsters either don’t have their own bikes or they are in really poor condition.
“We are really grateful to the Coalfields Regeneration Trust for giving us an Award that enables us to tackle both these issues in such a constructive manner”.