Step out in style for Walk to School month
Bass Coast Shire Council is urging students to put their best foot forward and get walking, riding or scooting to school when VicHealth’s annual Walk to School program kicks off on Monday, 8 October.
Students from Bass Coast primary schools are being encouraged to learn healthy habits and achieve the recommended 60 minutes of physical activity every day by strapping on their sneakers and walking, riding or scooting to school during October.
Bass Coast Shire Council is working with local primary schools to deliver a range of activities during Walk to School month, thanks to a grant from VicHealth. The activities will be varied to suit all ages, abilities and interests and will have a focus on being active, healthy and safe.
Council encourages schools to take part in competitions, park and walk events, healthy breakfasts and healthy eating events and has provided walking maps to a number of local schools, to help children get to school safely. Council will support schools to coordinate activities which best suit their students and will facilitate an active presence of Council rangers and Police.
Schools and students are also encourage to take advantage of Bass Coast’s wonderful range of rail trails, bushland and coastal walks during the holidays, a great way to prepare for Walk to School month.
VicHealth has partnered with the AFL Player’s Association this year, to encourage even more children to start building healthy habits for life.
Once again, children will be putting their creativity on show by decorating their shoes, bike or scooter, this year in their favourite AFL colours. Students with the best designs will be in the running for some amazing prizes, including a signed AFL jersey from their favourite club. Council will also be providing some great prizes, including water bottles donated by Westernport Water, movie tickets and YMCA vouchers.
Along with the health benefits, walking to school has benefits for the whole community. It reduces traffic congestion, saves on parking and even saves the environment! There are so many great reasons to participate in Walk to School this October.
VicHealth CEO Jerril Rechter said walking, riding or scooting to and from school is an easy way to make physical activity part of daily life.
“Even if your family lives too far from school to walk the whole journey, driving and parking say 500m from the school and walking the rest is a great way for families to get involved,” Ms Rechter said.
“Every little bit of physical activity is beneficial. Walking, riding or scooting to school is a great step towards kids getting the activity they need to be happy and healthy.”
Bass Coast Mayor, Cr Pamela Rothfield said Walk to School was a great way to get children and their families moving in the morning and had a great range of benefits for participants and the wider community.
“VicHealth’s Walk to School initiative is a fun and free way to get school kids active and help them build lifelong healthy habits. It’s also a great way for parents and carers to enjoy some quality time with their kids,” Cr Rothfield said.
Established in 2006, Walk to School aims to help Victorian kids increase their daily physical activity to improve their health. In 2017, more than 140,000 Victorian primary school kids from 759 schools took part in Walk to School.
Once term four starts, Council and Victoria Police will be monitoring school crossings and driver behaviour around schools, to promote safer behaviour, particularly during drop-off and pick-up times.
Bass Coast schools can contact Council’s Community Health and Wellbeing Department on 1300 BCOAST (226 278) or (03) 5671 2211 to find out more about local Walk to School activities, or visit www.walktoschool.vic.gov.au for more information.