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Northern Grampians Shire supports Walk to School program

NORTHERN Grampians Shire Council is working with primary schools once again to coordinate the 2014 Walk to School activities, after receiving funding from VicHealth.
Nanjing Night Net

Cr Karen Hyslop from the Northern Grampians Shire Council joins Meagan and her sons Brandon and Dillon McCaliff.

Walk to School is a VicHealth initiative and is a month of activity that encourages primary students across Victoria to walk to and from school as often as possible throughout October.

Councillor Karen Hyslop said VicHealth’s Walk to School month highlights the benefits of walking for children, such as improving fitness, friendships, their confidence and the environment.

“Northern Grampians Shire Council is delighted to be part of this important initiative and will assist the participating schools with their activities during October,” she said.

“Last year we had one local school participate in the Walk to School program, this year we have four and we are very happy to have the Skene Street School on board.

“We want to encourage more kids to walk, scoot or ride in the shire because exercise is fantastic for children’s health and reduces the environmental impacts associated with driving.”

Brothers Brandon and Dillon McCaliff, who attend Skene Street and 502 schools respectively, will both be participating in this year’s program.

The boys’ mum Meagan said her family had moved from Melbourne and were excited to be taking part in the Walk to School event.

“This is a great program for us to be a part of. When we lived in Melbourne there is no way my children would have been able to walk to school,” she said.

By getting involved in the program, schools will be helping students learn healthy habits and achieve the 60 minutes of physical activity recommended for children each day.

All participating schools will receive student certificates to celebrate their students’ achievements, and will be in the running for regional prizes provided by VicHealth.

VicHealth CEO Jerril Rechter said children who walk to and from school build healthy lifelong habits, become more familiar with their neighbourhoods and make new friends with other local children.

“Unfortunately, Australian children are now among the world’s least active. In the 1960s, one in 20 children were obese and today it’s one in four,” she said.

“One of the first steps to combatting this concerning trend is to encourage kids to walk as often as they can, particularly walking to and from school.

“Last year, 30,000 students from more than 300 primary schools in Victoria joined us for Walk to School, walking more than 410,000 kilometres in total and with our schools from Northern Grampians Shire Council on board, we hope to exceed those numbers this year.”

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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