21 Dec, 2016 Last updated: 21 Dec, 2016

Victorian primary school students who participated in VicHealth’s Walk to School during October have walked more than 1.6 million kilometres - equivalent to walking about 112 times around Australia or two return trips to the moon.

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Victorian primary school students who participated in VicHealth’s Walk to School during October have walked more than 1.6 million kilometres - equivalent to walking about 112 times around Australia or two return trips to the moon.

A record number or schools took part in Walk to School this year with 144,928 students participating from 758 schools, a significant increase on last year when 108,997 students were involved from 620 different schools in 2015.

VicHealth CEO Jerril Rechter said she was thrilled to see so many children had walked, scooted or rode to and from school during October.

“I’m so pleased to see an almost 33 per cent increase on the number of primary school children walking to school in this eleventh year of VicHealth’s Walk to School campaign,” Ms Rechter said. 

“The proportion of Victorian children walking to school has declined dramatically in recent decades and obesity levels are on the rise. Only one in five children aged 5-17 gets the recommended amount of physical activity every day so it’s important we try and turn those statistics around.

“Walking, scooting and riding to and from school helps children get the physical activity they need each day to be healthy and can kick-start healthy habits to set them up for a lifetime of good health.

“Congratulations to the Victorian students, schools and councils who got involved in Walk to School this year. We look forward to encouraging more students to embrace active travel next October but hope the healthy habits learned during this year’s campaign continue on into the New Year when school returns.”

One winner and runner-up was selected in each of the four Victorian education regions based on the school’s overall participation rate. Each winning school will receive a full-day clinic delivered direct to each school by Melbourne City Football Club coaches and a classroom soccer kit. Runners up will receive a classroom soccer kit. In 2016 VicHealth also offered a prize for one first-time participating schools in each region, with the winning schools rewarded with a classroom soccer kit.

The Walk to School winner and runner-up for each region in 2016 are:

North Western 

Winner– Bealiba PS 

Runner Up– Redesdale Mia Mia PS 

First time participant winner– Chewton PS 

South Western

Winner– Forrest PS

Runner-up– Balliang East PS

First time participant winner– Daylesford Dharma School

North Eastern 

Winner– Edi Upper PS 

Runner-up– Knox Central PS 

First time participant winner– Hawthorn West PS 

South Eastern

Joint winners– Loch Sport PS and Yinnar South PS

First time participant winner– Bass Coast Specialist School


Regional summaries

North-Western Victoria Region 2016 results
• Number of primary schools that participated in Walk to School: 186
• Number of students that participated in Walk to School: 32,731
• Total number of walks recorded by participating students: 517,674
• Estimated total distance walked: 371,718km

North-Eastern Victoria Region 2016 results
• Number of primary schools that participated in Walk to School: 166
• Number of students that participated in Walk to School: 34,236
• Total number of walks recorded by participating students: 553,260
• Estimated total distance walked: 397,228km 

South-Western Victoria Region 2016 results
• Number of primary schools that participated in Walk to School: 226
• Number of students that participated in Walk to School: 39,558
• Total number of walks recorded by participating students: 564,636
• Estimated total distance walked: 405,416km

South-Eastern Victoria Region 2016 results
• Number of primary schools that participated in Walk to School: 180
• Number of students that participated in Walk to School: 38,403
• Total number of walks recorded by participating students: 602,756
• Estimated total distance walked: 432,869km

For more information, including details on participating schools by LGA, contact VicHealth Communications Manager, John Fulcher on 0412 978 263/ jfulcher@vichealth.vic.gov.au