Coychurch Primary School, Bridgend has won the first Sustrans Gold School Mark Award in Wales for their dedication to active travel.
As a result it was awarded a Sustrans Gold School Mark Award in a ceremony was attended by Deputy Minister for Economy and Transport, Lee Waters AM and County Mayor Stuart Baldwin. The award was presented in a special assembly at the school.
The Sustrans Gold School Mark is awarded to a school that has demonstrated an ongoing commitment to promoting active and sustainable travel over several years, which has led to significant and lasting organisational, cultural and behavioural changes.
Steve Brooks, Sustrans Cymru, who presented the award said,“Coychurch Primary have gone above and beyond in making active travel an everyday part of school life. Being the first school to achieve the Sustrans Gold Award is a fantastic achievement, it truly shows a dedication to active travel.
“Walking, cycling or scooting to school should be the safest, easiest and most accessible option for all school children. Changing the way we travel to school is key to tacking air pollution and increasing activity levels amongst children.”
Deputy Transport Minister Lee Waters went on,“I want to congratulate the school and its pupils for achieving this gold award. It’s a great example of how schools can be proactive, challenge travel behaviours and change them for everyone’s benefit, whilst making it fun too.
“The Minister for Education and I have agreed that Welsh Government 21st century school projects will have a stronger focus on how pupils get to school, emphasising active travel. Getting the school journey right is crucial and Coychurch Primary School have set a strong example of how things can be done.”
Melanie Treadwell, School Active Travel Champion and Eco Co-ordinator added,“We are delighted that our efforts to promote Active Travel have been recognised by Sustrans Cymru. Becoming the first school in Wales to achieve the Gold School Mark Award is a fantastic accomplishment for our small school and the local community, who have played an instrumental part in our journey towards the Gold award.”
“Actively travelling to school has helped our pupils become more active, have a healthier lifestyle as well as improve their confidence, learning and their achievement.”
County Mayor Stuart Baldwin concluded,“This is a fantastic achievement and the children, teachers, governors and staff of Coychurch Primary should all feel very proud of their success.
“We are grateful to Welsh Government for their ongoing financial support to encourage Active Travel in Bridgend County Borough. Such schemes are making it possible for more people to leave their cars at home in favour of healthier, greener forms of travel.”