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MEDIA RELEASE - Glenelg Shire calls for local families to walk, ride and scoot to school

12 October 2018

Glenelg Shire Council will join VicHealth in its mission to get kids walking, riding and scooting to or around school as part of the health promotion foundation’s annual Walk to School program.

Every October, Walk to School month encourages kids and families to get active on the trip to and from school to help build healthy habits for life.

To support the program, council will be working in partnership with primary schools to deliver incentives and activities for students throughout the month, including a local competition to acknowledge and reward the highest rates of participation.

The school that records the most amount of kilometres walked, riden or scooted in the shire will receive a $2500 prize towards an active recreation project of their choosing, such as the installation of a new bike rack. The student who has recorded the highest frequency of walks, rides or scoots to their school during October will receive a $200 voucher to their local sports store.

Furthermore all schools who participate in the Walk to School program will receive a sports equipment voucher and will be eligible for major prizes through VicHealth.

Glenelg Shire Mayor Cr Anita Rank said VicHealth’s Walk to School program was a free, easy and fun way for kids to get active and learn healthy habits for life.

“Council is delighted to support Walk to School to encourage more kids to be active on the way to, around and from school. We want to make walking to school easy and attractive for families during the month of October and our competition with local schools will help to encourage and set regular walking habits,” Cr Rank said.

“It’s fantastic to have the support from local businesses for the program, with the Portland Leisure and Aquatic Centre (PLACE) donating free swim passes for students who walk to school. Our school crossing supervisors will be handing out these passes across the shire on randomly selected days throughout October.

“The PLACE is also offering breakfast to go to support those on their walk to school in Portland, Heywood and Casterton. From Monday 22 – Thursday 25 October, free fruit and muesli bars will be distributed to students at a location on their walk to school, providing a nutritious and delicious meal to start the day.”

VicHealth CEO Jerril Rechter said each year the Walk to School program continues to grow with more and more schools taking part with fantastic results.

“Walking, riding or scooting to and from school every day is an easy way to make physical activity part of kids’ daily life which is why our Walk to School program is so important,” Ms Rechter said.

“Last year more than 140,000 kids from over 750 schools across Victoria took part in Walk to School and walked the equivalent of two return trips to the moon. This year we hope to get even more schools involved in the program to improve the health of our kids.

“Helping our kids to get active is so important for their health and wellbeing – which is why it’s great to have the support of the Glenelg Shire Council to get more local kids walking, riding or scooting to school.”

VicHealth has partnered with the AFL Players Association to offer major prizes such as football clinics, memorabilia items and sporting equipment for the schools with the highest participation rates across the state.

VicHealth are also encouraging students to put their creativity on show by decorating their shoes, bikes and scooters to show off on the way to school, with prizes on offer for the best original designs.

For further information on the Walk to School program visit the website on www.walktoschool.vic.gov.au


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