Bourchier Street Primary kids join Walk Safely To School

By Liz Mellino

Students at Bourchier Street Primary School will be wearing their walking shoes tomorrow for the national Walk Safely To School Day.

For a number of years the school has been taking part in the community initiative, which aims to raise awareness of the health, road safety, transport and environmental benefits that regular walking can provide.

Assistant principal Gary Darma said the school encouraged all students to take part in the annual event which was celebrating its 20th anniversary.

‘‘We’re big about promoting healthy and active lifestyles, so walking to school is a big part of doing that,’’ he said.

‘‘The more kids that walk to school, the less cars on our roads and the less traffic problems that we have — it’s got those benefits as well.’’

The annual event encourages primary school-aged children to make walking a part of their daily routine by walking to and from school, not just tomorrow but every day.

Mr Darma said this was a message the school was hoping to convey to the students and those who took part tomorrow would be treated to a healthy snack when they arrived in the morning.

Pedestrian Council of Australia chairman and chief executive officer Harold Scruby stressed the importance of supporting national days like this which helped to address the issues surrounding childhood obesity.

‘‘The best exercise for all of us is regular walking. Children require at least 60 minutes per day of physical activity. We should encourage them to include walking at the beginning, during and end of each day,’’ he said.

While it is known walking has many physical benefits for people, Mr Darma said the school was also aware of the positive impact it could have on students’ cognitive and academic performances.

He encouraged other local schools and businesses to consider getting behind the national day and promote a healthier, more active lifestyle.

‘‘It encourages independence with our kids that they can get between home and school within a safe way,’’ Mr Darma said.