AUSTIN Cove Primary school kids will be only some of the many students nationwide who will put their feet first and journey towards a healthier future on May 18 for National Walk Safely to School Day.
The annual fete is a community initiative that will raise awareness of the health, road safety, transport and environmental benefits that regular walking would provide for the long-term wellbeing of children.
Now in its 19th year, the event will encourage primary school-aged children to build walking into their daily routine, by walking to and from school more regularly.
Chairman and chief executive of the Pedestrian Council of Australia Harold Scruby said physical inactivity was a risk factor for chronic diseases that could affect kids, including mental illness, cardiovascular disease and cancer.
“One in four children in Australia is overweight or obese, and it is expected that numbers will reach one in three by 2020,” he said.
“We really need teachers, parents, carers and the community at large to get behind this event and its objectives.”
Mr Scruby said the primary aim of the day was to promote better health and road safety among children.
“We want people to get out of cars and walk with their children more,” he said.
“Children require at least 60 minutes per day of physical activity so we should encourage them to include walking at the beginning, during and end of each day.
“We also want to promote the road safety rule that children, until they’re 10, shouldn’t cross the road without holding the hand of an adult.”