16 Oct, 2013 Last updated: 08 Nov, 2018

Victorian families are invited to join thousands of kids, parents and teachers, who will make walking a crucial part of their journey to school every day during November.

Victorian families are invited to join thousands of kids, parents and teachers, who will make walking a crucial part of their journey to school every day during November.

Registrations for this year’s VicHealth Walk to School campaign are now open. For the first time, 51 local councils across the state have signed up to help promote Walk to School in their communities, and get more Victorian families active.

Local councils will run competitions, organise healthy breakfasts, pilot walking programs and some will support schools to develop park and walk options for families.

VicHealth CEO Jerril Rechter says Walk to School raises awareness of the need for children to make walking part of their daily routine to improve fitness, friendships, the environment and their confidence.

“We hope that children who take part in Walk to School during November will build healthy habits and relationships for life,” Ms Rechter said.

“The majority of Victorian kids do not walk to school every day and with childhood obesity on the rise, we need to turn this trend around. Parents tell us that time constraints, concern about traffic, road safety, stranger danger and their child’s road sense all get in the way of kids walking to and from school.

“The good news is that once parents make the decision to walk with their children, they tend to realise that these fears are unwarranted and walking can be a wonderful activity for children’s confidence and their health.”

Children who register to take part in VicHealth’s Walk to School have the opportunity to win fantastic prizes.

The highest participating school in each of Victoria’s nine education regions will receive sporting equipment valued at $1000. Students can get involved in weekly competitions during November via the Walk to School website (www.walktoschool.vic.gov.au), with prizes awarded each week.

A free Walk to School app is also available from the App Store for participants to keep track of how far, and how often, they have walked.

The app features a game, where students can create their own imaginative Walk to School world, earning more characters to add to their world each time they walk.

To celebrate walking, Walk to School partner Cotton On Kids is offering a 30 per cent discount during November to customers who can show they have downloaded the VicHealth Walk to School app (conditions apply).

Last year, 11,500 primary school children walked a combined 241,115 kilometres during Walk to School.

Registering for Walk to School is free and open to primary school students, parents and teachers in Victoria. To learn more visit: www.walktoschool.vic.gov.au