Children at two primary schools in Cumbria got a special treat today – a visit from the official Tour of Britain mascot ToBi, who is building excitement ahead of the UK’s premier road cycling event coming to the county in September.

ToBi was joined by PE teacher extraordinaire Mr Stretch, who promotes key health messages to children in a fun way on behalf of Active Cumbria, for Pedal Your Way to Health roadshows at Robert Ferguson School, Carlisle, and Heron Hill School at Kendal.

Carlisle is hosting the start of the Cumbria stage of the Tour of Britain on Monday 5 September and the Cumbria stage will reach its climax with the uphill finish at the top of Beast Banks, Kendal.

Engaging schools in the race is a key part of the build-up and legacy benefits of Cumbria hosting the Tour of Britain. Active Cumbria, the county council-hosted sports partnership which promotes physical activity, has built on the success of its work with schools for both the 2013 and 2015 events with another 'Touch the Tour' schools pack.

Schoolchildren are also being invited to design a starting flag and winner’s jersey for the Cumbria stage, with competition entries closing tomorrow (Friday 15 July). Similar competitions held to mark the 2015 Tour of Britain coming to Cumbria attracted some 1,800 entries from the county’s schools.

Councillor Clare Feeney-Johnson, Cumbria County Council Cabinet member for Schools, said: “We’re delighted one of the country’s biggest sporting events is returning to Cumbria and hope the opportunity to see some of the world’s top riders in action will inspire more children and young people to cycle, either going to school or on bike rides with their friends.”

Councillor Ian Stewart, Cumbria County Council Cabinet member for Public Health, added: “Children should ideally do about 60 minutes a day of physical activity for good health, and getting out and about on their bikes is one of many ways of achieving this. You don’t have to be like Sir Bradley Wiggins or Mark Cavendish to benefit from cycling in Cumbria.”