What is Balanceability?
Children learn to crawl before they walk...and walk before they run...So, why expect a child to progress from riding a tricycle and/or bicycle with stabilisers, to riding a bicycle without? The opportunity to master the key aspects of static and dynamic balance is essential.
Balanceability is the UK's first accredited 'learn to cycle' programme for children aged 2½ to 6 years old. The programme is a structured course available to schools, leisure centres and independent trainers. It is currently active in 400 sites across the UK with 94% of children aged 4 to 6 years old being able to safely ride a pedal bike at the end of the programme.
Balanceability combines unique ergonomic balance bikes with a schedule of fun activities that build confidence, spatial awareness and dynamic balance skills enabling young children to cycle without ever needing stabilisers.
A balance bike is a lightweight, pedal-less child's bike which facilitates balance and propulsion. Children run along whilst seated, push off the ground to create forward movement and use a combination of their feet- and hand-operated brake to slow down and stop safely.
Where is it delivered?
Balanceability is delivered in schools, leisure centres, holiday companies and in the community by qualified Balanceability Instructors.
How is it delivered?
Much like booking swimming lessons, children attend structured lessons that incorporate fun activities to help children develop gross motor skills, spatial awareness and bilateral co-ordination. Children are able to transition to riding a pedal bike in a safe, rewarding manner and are set on the way to enhancing their physical literacy.
The Balanceability programme is supported by Olympic Gold-medal winning cyclist Chris Boardman MBE, who said: "Balanceability is the fundamental starting point for children's cycling and an excellent opportunity to promote active lifestyles at the earliest possible age. I can see it also provides a natural lead into Bikeability for Schools and I would encourage all schools to give children the opportunity to use balance bikes."
“The Balanceability programme offers children a great opportunity to become competent cyclists at an early age through the development of balance and control. The programme is made up of progressive learning experiences, with fun ways to learn to cycle on balance bikes. This programme is a foundation for cyclists of the future, through which young children can practise and achieve the balance needed to ride a bicycle, but without the encumbrance of pedals.”
Patricia Maude MBE, lecturer in physical education at Homerton College, University of Cambridge and author of Physical Children, Active Teaching