Dame Sarah Storey joins Doncaster children on their commute to school to promote walking and cycling

Multi-gold medal winner Dame Sarah Storey joined Doncaster children on their commute to school in a bid to promote walking and cycling measures.

Tuesday, 9th November 2021, 2:30 pm
Updated Tuesday, 9th November 2021, 2:40 pm
Dame Sarah Storey presents pupils and staff at Hawthorn Primary School with their Gold Level Modeshift STARS Accreditation. Picture: Shaun Flannery

Dame Sarah, who is Paralympics GB’s most successful athlete of all time, joined dozens of kids from Hawthorn Primary School in Cantley.

Children and their parents met at Cantley Park and walked to school together. Council bosses also shut off Elmham Road outside Hawthorn School for the full day to encourage youngsters, parents and school staff to walk, cycle and scoot their way to class.

Pupils made the most of the road closure, with events throughout the day taking place such as a pedal powered sound system, smoothie bikes and circus skills.

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Dame Sarah Storey (centre) at Hawthorn Primary School

During the backdrop of world leaders in Glasgow for COP26 for talks on the climate crisis, Hawthorn Primary School has recently been recognised as Doncaster’s first Gold accredited Modeshift STARS School.

Modeshift STARS recognises schools, businesses and other organisations that have shown excellence in supporting cycling, walking and other forms of sustainable and active travel.

Dame Sarah, who is now South Yorkshire Combined Authority’s active travel commissioner, said: “Although journeys to school are most often walked, the area outside schools is frequently dominated by vehicles.

“I’m really pleased to be able to present Hawthorn Primary with their Modeshift award in recognition of all the work the school community is doing to promote active travel.

“The school street is a great way to celebrate that, and we would like to help any school that wants fewer cars at drop off and pick up time.”

Coun Mark Houlbrook, cabinet member for sustainability, said: “It’s been an honour and a privilege to welcome Dame Sarah Storey to Doncaster and to our gold standard Modeshift STARS school, Hawthorn Primary.

“By taking part in active travel schemes, the school is benefitting the local area, the environment and, even more crucially, the children themselves.

“We want to thank the children and their parents for taking part and inspiring others across our borough to consider greener alternatives for travelling to school. We are determined to achieve our aims of greener travel and net zero ambitions across Doncaster.”