Victorian streets will soon be a flurry of colour with primary school kids encouraged to decorate their shoes, bikes or scooters as part of health promotion foundation VicHealth’s Walk to School program.
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Throughout October, hundreds of thousands of Victorian primary school kids will hit the streets and show off their newly-decorated shoes or wheels on the way to school.
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 CEO Jerril Rechter said this year’s Walk to School is all about making walking, riding or scooting to school more fun and attractive for Victorian primary school kids and their families.
“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 150,000 students 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 percent 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 walktoschool.vic.gov.au
Note to Editors
Every October, VicHealth’s Walk to School program encourages primary school kids to walk, ride or scoot to and from school. This year, the program will run from 9 October to 3 November.
In 2016, almost 150,000 Victorian primary school kids from more than 750 schools took part in Walk to School, resulting in more than 2.2 million walks, rides and scoots throughout October.
This year, students are encouraged to decorate their shoes, bike or scooters to make Walk to School all the more fun. Teachers, parents and carers can download design templates and lesson suggestions in the lead-up to Walk to School via the website.
In 2017, VicHealth will be working with Bendigo Bank and the AFL Players’ Association to bring Walk to School to life.
Participating schools will be provided with certificates to celebrate students’ achievements, as well as being in the running for fantastic prizes.
Fast facts about Walk to School:
- The number of Victorian kids walking to school has declined dramatically in recent decades. In the 1970s, almost 50% of Victorian children walked to school, compared with only 20% in 2011.
- New VicHealth research shows that more than 60% of Victorian parents want their child to walk to school more regularly.
- Parents in rural and regional Victoria are less likely to have the option to walk their child to school than those in metro areas.
- Childhood obesity levels are on the rise. Only one in five children aged 5-17 years get the recommended amount of physical activity every day.
- By 2025, one in three children will be overweight or obese.
- Kids who are regularly physically active are more likely to continue to be active as they grow up.
For more information on VicHealth’s Walk to School or for interview opportunities please contact Mango Communications:
0400 735 130
0429 925 294