The OVO Energy Tour of Britain has teamed up with Active Cumbria to help inspire schoolchildren across the county to become more physically active.

Local PE teacher extraordinaire Garry Gifford, from the Bread and Butter Theatre Company in Ulverston, is embarking upon a fantastic journey around the county alongside race mascot ToBi to talk to youngsters about the Tour of Britain’s return to the area in September, as well as the importance of living a healthy lifestyle.

As part of the two-week Pedal Your Way to Health tour, Gifford aka Mr Stretch will visit 18 schools, educating, engaging and inspiring approximately 3,500 children through the means of music, magic, movement and laughter.

The tour, run by Active Cumbria (which forms part of Cumbria County Council’s Health, Care & Community Services Directorate) focuses on the importance of building 60 minutes of physical activity into daily routines and the benefits of a balanced diet. The roadshow will start and end in Allerdale, the district in which both this year’s OVO Energy Tour of Britain stages in Cumbria will finish.

Alongside the Pedal Your Way to Health roadshow, Active Cumbria are working with schools across the county to get them involved in the Tour of Britain.

Furthermore, they will be launching two competitions in schools with opportunities for children to win a prize of a lifetime. The first is to design a jersey which will be created and presented to the team who claim victory in the race’s first-ever team time trial between Cockermouth and Whinlatter Pass on Thursday 6 September. The second is is to design the flag that will be used to start Stage Six of the race in Barrow on Friday 7 September.

Entries must be received by Friday 6 July. Entry forms can be downloaded from These opportunities have been funded by Cumbria County Council’s six Local Committees and the Lake District National Park Authority.

Comprehensive schools packs can also be downloaded from the Active Cumbria website.

Deborah Earl, Cabinet Member for Public Health and Community Services at Cumbria County Council said: “I really hope schools and communities get behind the Tour, as they have done in previous years to celebrate the Tour of Britain in Cumbria.

“Having a large scale outdoor event such as this is great for the county as a whole and I know there are community events planned across the county to coincide with the tour promoting Cycling as well as health and wellbeing in general.”