Cycling medals were presented to children with special needs in memory of Meltham bike champion John Radford.

Youngsters with disabilities have been able to get on bikes for the first time thanks to Huddersfield-based charity Streetbikes.

Children at Ravenshall Special School in Thornhill Lees, Dewsbury, have been taking lessons on specially-adapted bikes.

And John’s daughter Emma Boyes, watched by her mother Pat, handed over the medals, paid for by a collection for Streetbikes made at her father’s funeral.

John, 70, a former chairman of cycling club Huddersfield CTC (inset), was struck by a car between New Mill and Brockholes in July last year.

The father-of-two suffered severe brain damage and died at his Meltham home last month.

The driver, Michael Gledhill, 23, of Bramble Walk, Holmfirth, denied causing injury by dangerous driving but was convicted after a trial at Leeds Crown Court.

John died after Gledhill’s conviction and sentencing has been delayed. The case has now been referred to the Attorney General to decide on whether further charges will be laid. No decision has yet been announced.

John Radford of Meltham
John Radford of Meltham
 

Mrs Liz McGrath, class teacher at Ravenshall school, said 16 youngsters had been given regular cycling tuition from Streetbikes volunteers at Spenborough athletics track in Cleckheaton.

All were now proficient cyclists and Mrs McGrath said: “The children absolutely love it. The children all have special needs so physical activity like cycling is so good for them. It’s good for co-ordination, navigational skills and self-esteem.

“When we first went down there were two children who wouldn’t go anywhere near the bikes. The last time we went down one of those children, who is autistic and has Down’s syndrome, completed four laps completely on her own.”

The school was so impressed with the electrically-assisted trikes that they asked how much they would cost.

Mrs McGrath’s husband Andrew raised £380 on a sponsored bike ride – but the trikes cost £800 each.

When the school approached Streetbikes, which restores and donates old bikes, the charity offered one trike for free and a second for just £100. The rest of the cash will be used to build a bike store.

“For the children to have their own bikes means everything to them,” said Mrs McGrath. “To see their faces was brilliant.”