For the sixth consecutive year, Shimano Europe is organising the Shimano Cycling Concept Award, a pan-European search for the most innovative ideas to stimulate bicycle usage. For 2006, the award judges decided to focus on children so entries are being sought from schools or projects which will boost cycling to and from schools.

Shimano aims cash grant at kids

Started in December 2000 as an alternative way of spending Shimano Europe’s Christmas card budget, the SCCA has awarded cash grants to a wide variety of cycle projects across Europe.

In 2001 the first winner of the £9000 award was the Scottish Cycling Development Project, an Edinburgh-based grassroots training initiative to get more children on bikes.

In her winning application, Cathy Scott, development officer at the Scottish Cycling Development Project, said:

"The aim is to increase cycling levels and we consider children and schools as key targets. Cycling is an activity that many children are enthusiastic about, particularly at primary school age. Yet at this lower grassroots level there are very few opportunities to receive any training or coaching."

The Shimano Cycling Concept Award 2006 is going back to its roots and will award 12 500 Euros (£8518) to the best school cycling project in Europe.

Local authorities, education bodies, cycle promotion organisations and individual schools can apply. However, the project must focus on children aged 5 to 16, so colleges and universities are not eligible.

The application must be in English and can include drawings or photographs of the proposed project.

"The best entries from previous years have been those that set out action plans with a clear time line, show how and when the money will be spent, list the total budget and include a summary of no more than 500 words," said Shimano Europe’s PR officer, Harald Troost.

The judges are Frank Peiffer, commercial director of Shimano Europe, and three trade mag editors: Jack Oortwijn of Bike Europe, Carlton Reid of and Michael Bollschweiler of Germany’s Radmarkt.

Entries should be snailmailed to:

Harald Troost

Shimano Europe B.V.

Industrieweg 24

8071 CT Nunspeet

The Netherlands

The closing date is December 31st 2005 with the award made in February 2006.

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