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Ditch bus, get active

by
October 13, 2017

Healthy living: (Left to right) St Georges Rd Primary School students Brandon Tran, 8, Noah Celatano, 12, Gracie Hamilton, 11, Zaynab Alghazali, 6 skipping to school as a part of Walk to School Month.

Victorian streets will soon be a flurry of colour with primary school kids encouraged to decorate their shoes, bikes and scooters as part of VicHealth’s Walk to School program.

Throughout October, hundreds of thousands of Victorian primary school kids will hit the streets to show off their newly-decorated shoes or wheels on the way to school.

Peranbin Primary College is getting involved and teacher Dianne Fitzpatrick said even though some kids caught the bus to school, all pupils would get a chance to take part.

‘‘We do a walk around the towns of Baddaginnie and Swanpool, as we have the two campuses,’’ Ms Fitzpatrick said.

‘‘We’re in such lovely small townships, it’s a great excuse to promote good health and being outdoors.’’

The VicHealth Walk to School program, which takes place every year, has been running since 2006 and is a free, easy and fun way to get primary school kids and their families active.

VicHealth chief executive officer Jerril Rechter said this year’s Walk to School was all about making walking, riding or scooting to school more fun and attractive for Victorian primary school kids.

‘‘Walking, riding or scooting to and from school every day helps kids get some of the physical activity they need to be healthy,’’ Ms Rechter said.

‘‘This year we want to make Walk to School month even more interesting for kids by encouraging them to decorate their shoes, bikes or scooters to show off on the way to school.

‘‘Getting active is even more fun when we do it together and we can’t wait to see what fantastic shoe designs our clever Victorian students come up with.’’

Last year, close to 150000 pupils from more than 750 primary schools walked over 1.6 million kilometres during Walk to School, the equivalent of two return trips to the moon.

Ms Rechter said she hoped this year’s Walk to School would see even more Victorian families get involved.

‘‘Our research shows that more than 60 per cent of parents and carers want their kids to be able to walk to school more often,’’ she said.

‘‘Walk to School is all about making it easy for kids to get active.

‘‘Even if you can’t walk the whole way, why not drop your kids a couple of blocks before the school gates?

‘‘We’re encouraging parents and carers to walk to school with their kids where possible and enjoy the chance to talk and teach road safety skills while getting active themselves.

‘‘It’s a great way of spending quality time together.’’

Parents and carers are encouraged to get involved in Walk to School by helping their kids decorate their shoes, bike or scooter.

●For design templates, inspiration and non-permanent decorating ideas, visit www.walktoschool.vic.gov.au

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