School BMX club to help tackle gang culture in Bow
PUBLISHED: 17:14 04 October 2012 | UPDATED: 17:33 04 October 2012
Bow Boys School is set to launch a new BMX club to help tackle gang culture in Tower Hamlets.
Transport charity Sustrans is working with the school to set up the student-run club, which will aim to train its members to compete nationally.
Up until October 24 pupils from years seven, eight and nine will take part in six rounds of trials, the third of which was held today.
The best 40 will be selected, although other pupils will still be able to enjoy BMXing as part of their PE lessons over the next year.
The idea for the club came after pupils had the opportunity to try various Olympic cycling disciplines in the run-up to London 2012, and loved BMXing.
Sustrans Bike It Officer James Scott explained that occupying pupils after school is key to combating gang recruitment, which often takes place then outside the gates.
The club will face a major challenge when the clocks go back in October, making it too dark for its members to train on the currently unlit track.
Fundraising is underway for a set of portable floodlights, with an estimated £5,000 needing to be raised.
Another way it is hoped the club will prevent boys from becoming involved in gangs is by giving them an alternative outlet for feelings of disenfranchisement.
James said: “The club will take their anger and energy and put it into something more positive.”
For more information about the project, including to get involved with fundraising, follow James on Twitter @jamescycles