EVERY parent hopes their child will grow up fit and healthy.

The best way to make sure they do is to encourage physical activity. Taking regular exercise helps prevent a range of serious conditions, such as obesity and, in later life, heart disease.

Riding a bike is one of the best ways to get children off the couch and away from their phones. It is fun, exciting and can be enjoyed by the whole family.

A bike gives kids freedom and independence.It also helps them do better at school. Teachers say that children who ride to school arrive more alert and ready to learn than their friends who get dropped off by car or bus.

Yesterday world junior cyclo cross champion Tom Pidcock opened a new purpose-built cycling track at Horton Park Primary School. The track is part of a new £100,000 outdoor play area.

By working with the cycling charity Sustrans the school has boosted attendance levels to more than 96 per cent.

Every youngster with a 100 per cent attendance record is rewarded with a free bike, helmet and training so the number of cyclists is growing all the time.

What a wonderful pro-cycling example to other schools in the area.

Parents need to play their part, too. Mums and dads should be getting on their bikes so the whole family can enjoy the wonderful countryside West Yorkshire has to offer.

And with summer just around the corner there has never been a better time to take up cycling.