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On yer bike,' kids are told—if they want to get fit

PUBLISHED: 18:30 27 March 2009 | UPDATED: 14:14 05 October 2010

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Carmen Valino

THE battle of the bulge' is under way to get kids fit again in London's East End. Only one-in-50 pupils ride to school in Tower Hamlets, a survey has found, showing a-quarter of all11 to 16 year-olds are clinically obese

By Maddalena Dottori

THE battle of the bulge’ is under way to get kids fit again in London’s East End.

Education chiefs wants youngsters to fight the flab’ and get on their bikes.

Only one-in-50 pupils ride to school in Tower Hamlets, a survey has found.

The result is that a-quarter of all the 11 to 16 year-olds are clinically obese.

Schools have been taking part in events run by Sustrans, a charity promoting sustainable’ transport, with Tower Hamlets NHS Primary Care Trust to get children fit and encourage them to cycle more.

Activities included a tournament of roller-racing, where 50 pupils at Stepney Green Secondary rode static’ bikes (pictured) over a simulated 500yd distance in their school gym. Pictured above are Ibrahim Yusuf, 12, (top) and classmate Farhad Khan, 11.

The cycle charity’s James Scott said: “We have convinced the PE department to open a cycling club and keep encouraging kids to use their bikes.”

Half the 900 pupils want to ride to school—but fewer than 20 are actually able to because there aren’t enough bike sheds for every kid to cycle in each day.

Other events in the East End have included mountain biking in Mile End Park and a talk with the Hungry Cyclist’ who rode for 15,000 miles from New York to Rio de Janeiro collecting food recipes along the way.

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