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Crawley pupils compete in first local interschool bike competition

July marked the first ever instalment of the Crawley Bike Games, an interschool bicycle competition for primary schools.

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Organised by Sustrans, the charity that makes it easier for people to walk and cycle, the event built on work in the area to encourage children to make active travel choices. The local sports games officer, based at Seymour Primary, hosted the event.

The event was open to teams of up to ten cyclists from primary schools from years five or six. Five activity stations were set up on the field. These included the bumpy bike obstacle course, speedy bling your bike, low as you go bike limbo, the super slow circle race and the mileage massacre. Teams had 10 minutes at each station to receive instruction on how to score points, and then to accumulate as many points as possible in the remaining time. 

This created 50 minutes of intense bicycle activities testing a variety of skills. Beyond their cycling abilities teams had to arrange themselves to get ready for each challenge, think ahead and work as a team.

Seymour Primary took top spot due to their impressive performances on the mileage massacre and the bumpy bike obstacle course. Having cycled as a team across from school,

The Mill Primary Academy stormed into second place, winning the super slow circle race. Gossops Green Primary took third spot and also won the low as you go bike limbo.

Together with a winning team trophy, all the children in the Seymour Primary team were awarded hoodies by the Sustrans officer. T-shirts went to the Mill Academy and all other participating children received puncture repair kits.

Patrick Alexander, Sustrans Bike It Officer for Crawley, said:

“It was brilliant to see so many children out enjoying riding their bikes. When all the challenges were complete each team looked exhausted, but satisfied after completing the circuit. I hope that all the pupils who took part will keep riding their bikes, both for fun and to get to school”. 

Steven Hand, Crawley School Games Organiser at Seymour Primary School, said:

“It was a fantastic event; one I hope that we can repeat next year. Seymour Primary could not have achieved what we have without Sustrans’ help.”

Seymour Primary and Sustrans are already looking to build on the success of this event and encourage even more schools to attend next year’s event.

Community

Extra mental health support in Crawley schools to be developed

West Sussex has been successful in a bid to develop extra mental health support in schools across two pilot areas.

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New specialist Mental Health Support Teams will work with children in over 20 schools in a joint partnership between West Sussex County Council, West Sussex Clinical Commissioning Groups and the Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.

Following an analysis of need, the one-year pilot will be rolled out in north-west Crawley and in Bognor Regis and Felpham.

The specialist teams will:

• Provide one-to-one support to children with mild to moderate mental health issues, building on the support already available

• Work alongside school counsellors, nurses and designated mental health leads and introduce or develop their whole school or college approach 

• Liaise with external specialist services to help students with more severe needs to get the right support

Richard Burrett, West Sussex County Council Cabinet Member for Education and Skills, said:

“One in nine young people aged five to 15 are believed to have a mental health condition and we know early intervention is crucial. So I’m delighted that West Sussex school children will benefit from this exciting new pilot and I look forward to seeing it progress.”

Dr Patience Okorie, Clinical Director Crawley CCG, said:

“This is an exciting development and has come at a time when we have seen increasing need for emotional and mental wellbeing support amongst young people. We recognise the need for early intervention and support and had found there was a huge gap for this.

“The new pilot service is a great opportunity to ensure young people get the help they need at the right time and the right place.”

Alison Wallis, Clinical Director for Children and Young People’s Services at Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, said:

“We are so pleased that we were successful in our bid for this new service and that we will be able to improve and build on the early and preventative support that we currently provide for children and young people in West Sussex.

“Young people spend a large proportion of their time at school, so it really does make sense for there to be teams based in schools who are specially trained in how to support young people if they raise concerns about their mental health or emotional wellbeing. 

“I am really looking forward to seeing the positive impact that this pilot service will make.”  

The Mental Health Support Teams will now be developed and should be up and running in West Sussex by September 2020.  

It is part of NHS England’s ambition to roll out the specialist support nationally to reach up to a quarter of the country’s young people by 2022-23.

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