Retirement can be a challenging time, especially for those who relish the structure, responsibility and fulfilment that our working lives can provide.
Suddenly everything stops. The emails, the phone calls, the conversations with colleagues, suppliers, customers or clients. This can be a difficult adjustment that can prompt questions around identity, purpose and self-worth.
Retired traffic engineer Ronnie Hamilton took early retirement after 35 years in the transport sector. He was ready to end that phase of his life. He said, “I didn’t want to give up work altogether and was looking to do some meaningful and rewarding work in something I was interested in.”
That’s when Cycling Scotland came into his life. The nation’s cycling organisation aims to establish cycling as an accessible and practical travel option for people across Scotland. This includes cycle training, and they offer a full range of practical-based cycle training and instructor training courses for all ages, abilities and times of life.
A general interest in cycling led Ronnie to investigate the practical-based cycle training and instructor training courses provided by Cycling Scotland.
The Cycle Trainer course caught his eye. It is an SCQF Level 7, 4-day course (with 3 SCQF credit points) that enables instructors to teach National Standard cycle training. It is for anyone wanting to teach adults and children of all abilities, using different types of cycles in both urban and rural locations.
A course at this level appealed to Ronnie because of the depth of the information and guidance provided. He said, “Even after a career in traffic engineering and a life of cycling I learned a lot.”
Once qualified, a Cycle Trainer can conduct risk assessments, plan, develop and deliver cycling sessions based on the National Standard for Cycling and, if delivering training to children, teach all three levels of Bikeability Scotland, the national cycle training programme for school children.
As the training provider, gaining the SCQF recognition for the Cycle Trainer course was important for Cycling Scotland, as many of the organisations, local authorities and community groups they support require people to deliver training in their local area and to work in schools.
This formal recognition enables instructors to use the qualification towards their own professional development, to deliver training to people in their local communities, to gain paid employment in active travel or to volunteer in schools and communities.
For Ronnie, the experience has not only provided the opportunity for a second career but also a renewed sense of purpose. He explained, “I’m now delivering cycle training to young people, amongst other activities, working as an outdoor education instructor for a local authority. The work is great fun and it’s really satisfying watching a group of 16 young people develop their skills and understanding. Over the course of a year I will have instructed hundreds of young people who will be encouraged to cycle more often and will have the skills to do so safely and confidently.”
You can find out more about the Cycle Trainer course that Ronnie took and other practical cycle training courses by visiting the training section of the Cycling Scotland website.
You can also find out more about Bikeability Scotland, the national cycle training programme for school children by visiting the Bikeability Scotland website.
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