An exciting initiative to get our kids active is about to be launched in the Waitaki District.
Pembroke, Weston and Fenwick Schools are all participating in the first Walkin’ n Wheelin’ programme developed by Waitaki District Council Community Safety Officer Alison Banks and delivered by Sport Waitaki Active Transport Coordinator Helen Algar.
Today more than half of New Zealand primary school children are driven to and from school – that’s nearly double the number from 10 years ago. And nearly one third of New Zealand children get very little or no exercise. School communities are increasingly concerned about the safety of children on our roads, and their health and fitness.
Walkin’ n Wheelin’ is a fun, social and healthy way to get to school. It provides children with a healthy and invigorating start to their day; the physical activity means that when they arrive at school they are energized and ready to learn.
Why WALK’ N WHEEL to school?
* Less traffic around schools
* Healthier and safer for children
* Companionship and fun
* Time saving for parents
* Children learn safe walking and cycling behavior
* Environmentally friendly
The Walkin’ n Wheelin’ program is designed to support and encourage children and their parents or caregivers, to travel to school under their own steam. Children may choose to walk or wheel, all or part of the distance from home to school. For those children who must be driven or bussed to school there is the option of being dropped off at a designated safe place a few hundred meters away from the school or alternatively they may choose to walk or run around the field before school begins. This flexible approach means Walkin’ n Wheelin’ is possible for everyone.
Walkin’ n Wheelin’ will take the form of a classroom challenge during term two.
Two schools will launch the programme on Tuesday the 6th of May, Pembroke School at 8.30.a.m and Weston School at 2.p.m. Fenwick School will follow, kicking off the programme on the Monday 12th at 8.30.a.m. These events will be attended by Helen Algar of Sport Waitaki, Alison Banks of Waitaki District Council, Shane Melrose of Sport Otago, Kim Blackwood of Roadsense, and local celebrity Mike Plant of Classic Hits.
This is an exciting and inclusive opportunity for schools and the community to support healthy outcomes for our young people now and into the future by working together to provide safe opportunities to be physically active.