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Canvas Holidays has announced it will be playing an active role in encouraging Fife’s youngsters to get out and about on two wheels by supporting Active Fife’s Summer of Cycling programme in 2015.  

The award-winning Dunfermline headquartered package holiday company, which is currently celebrating its 50th year in business, will be involved in two events that are specially for Fife’s under 18’s.

The Kingdom Crits is a series of mountain bike races for 6 to 18 year olds, which takes place over four races in four different Fife locations – Autermuchty, Lochore Meadows, Glenrothes, Dunfermline and Kirkcaldy.  Canvas Holidays have contributed over £1,100 in funding for the series, which will cover the costs of certificates, medals and other materials.  The holiday company will also be giving one lucky race participant and their family a £500 voucher towards a camping holiday in one of their European destinations.

Following the Kingdom Crits, Canvas Holidays will be running a free balance bike class in the Glen for young children on the 4th June. The activity will run in the afternoon prior to the exciting Dunfermline Criterium, a cycling race that incorporates some of central Dunfermline’s roads and Pittencrieff Park.  The ‘Squirrel Crit’, as it is known, had its inaugural event in September last year and saw 66 male and 21 female riders compete in two races.

Canvas’ professional activities team, In2Action, who offer activities for all the family at 10 campsites around Europe as part of their FamilyExtra programme, will be running the balance bike activity. It will provide a supervised introduction for young children who have never ridden a bike or who haven’t quite mastered their balance skills.

Heather Reekie, Canvas Holidays Marketing Manager, explained: “The reason we are supporting these events is two fold. Firstly, it’s our 50th anniversary this year and we are celebrating by backing local events for local people, such as the Limekilns Breakfast Dip at the start of the year. Secondly, cycling is a huge a part of our camping holidays, for both our younger and older customers.  One of our customers actually learned to ride a bike on a Canvas holidays, and she was 49 years old! Getting out and about on your bike is a great way to stay active and there are plenty of great places around Fife to explore!”

Professional racing cyclist, Robert Wardell, from Dunfermline, who finished 2nd in last year’s Dunfermline Crit, said: “I am really excited to see my hometown get behind cycling in such a big way.  Encouraging young people to get active, whether it’s in cycling or another sport, is really important. Having the backing of a local company, like Canvas Holidays, which is willing to support an active community is wonderful. It would be great to see a future Scottish cycling champion come out of Dunfermline!”

The first Kingdom Crit race takes place on March 7th at Pitmedden Forest, nr Auchtermuchty.

The Dunfermline Criterium takes place on 4th June.

Pic: Robert Wardell, Mollie McNab (2) and Heather Reekie, Canvas Holidays’ UK & IRL Marketing Manager.