The Liverpool FC Foundation teamed up with Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service (MFRS) and Cycling UK during the recent February half-term to deliver a road safety project to local youngsters.
Participants from the Premier League Kicks Football+ programme – boys and girls aged 11 to 14 - headed to MFRS’ Training and Development Academy for the two-day course, which included training in road safety, cycle maintenance and mountain biking skills.
Kicks Football+ uses football and other group activities to engage youngsters - addressing key issues, helping to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour, and encouraging personal development.
Day one saw the participants look at the dangers of riding bikes inappropriately on public highways and pavements, as well as the impact of road traffic collisions (RTCs) involving cyclists.
MFRS showcased a series of hard hitting video presentations to raise awareness, before taking the group through a practical demonstration of casualty extrication from a vehicle following a car-bike collision.
Training in basic cycle maintenance, safety checks, puncture repair and the clothing and equipment required to keep warm and safe on an off-road trail was also covered during the course of the afternoon.
Chris Alston, Cycling UK’s development officer for Liverpool City Region said: "It has been great to work alongside the LFC Foundation and MFRS to raise awareness of road safety and teach young people how to use their bikes responsibly.
"Youths riding their mountain bikes inappropriately is becoming an increasing issue across Merseyside - we’re seeing more and more young people weaving in and out of traffic on their bikes, jumping red lights and doing wheelies on busy public highways.
"This is something the police are keen to deter and projects such as this are proving to be very effective."
The following day, the group were taken through practical mountain-biking training, including basic trail techniques and the effective use of gears and brakes, before concluding with a challenging seven-mile ride through Delamere Forest in Cheshire to utilise their new skills.
For more information on the Kicks Football+ programme click here.