World time-trial champion David Millar, Scottish TV celeb Bryan Burnett, and former world pursuit champion and hour record holder Graeme Obree yesterday endorsed Cycling Scotland, the catch-all body promoting cycling north of the border. The organisation has been running since late last year and is a bigger, better-funded version of the Scottish Cycling Development Project

Kids need not be fat, say cycle stars

The launch, held at Cycling Scotland’s offices in Glasgow, was attended by representatives from local authorities throughout Scotland as well as VisitScotland, the AA Motoring Trust, various health promotion bodies and access organisations.

Bryan Burnett, presenter of TV’s Scottish Passport, gave a speech highlighting the impact that active travel could have on chilren’s health. He made reference to the latest statistics identifying a four centimetre increase in children’s waist sizes and the fact that, over the period of the study, Scotland’s children have not increased the average number of calories they consume.

Burnett also read out an endorsement from David Millar:

“I am proud that I am representing Scotland in an international arena, and at the highest level of the sport that I love. I hope that through my continued participation in events such as the Tour de France, the Olympics and World Championships I can play a part in encouraging support for cycling that will in turn allow Scotland’s youth to follow their dreams. For such a small country Scotland has produced a large number of cycling champions, on road track and mountain bike, and as a healthy activity and great way to enjoy the countryside, cycling is one of the most stimulating and rewarding activities to become involved in.

"Apart from the sport of cycling, having the opportunity to visit so many countries in the course of my work, I constantly see environments where cycling is accepted, without issue, as a normal part of life for millions, and how the health benefits and more pleasant environment can be enjoyed by all of society. Seeing healthy children cycling to school, and commuters who know when it makes more sense to leave their cars in the driveway, is a scenario that it is hard to object to."

Graeme Obree said:

“The promotion of cycling is a good cause for the whole of society.”

He went on to identify reduced strain on health providers, improved road conditions for everyone and benefits to communities through cycling’s impact on social inclusion.

Neil Greig of the AA Motoring Trust said:

“The AA Trust welcome the formation of Cycling Scotland and we look forward to working together to promote the safe, shared use of our roads. AA Trust surveys show that one third of drivers own a bike and we encourage them to use it where appropriate.”

Working in partnership with local authorities, health promotion bodies, motoring organisations and other stakeholders, Cycling Scotland will be a resource to assist in tackling issues such as childhood obesity, inactivity related illnesses, traffic congestion, road safety and the promotion of cycling’s role within Scotland’s leisure and tourism markets.

The staff of Cycling Scotland has been recruited to carry an expertise in the fields of education, transport planning, health promotion, education and the marketing of cycling.

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