Walk to School Launch

Published on 20 September 2017

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The official launch of the Gannawarra VicHealth Walk to School program took place at the Leitchville Primary School on Monday 18 September 2017.

Councillor Sonia Wright officially opened the 2017 Gannawarra VicHealth Walk to School program and presented Leitchville Primary School and Leitchville Preschool with a Get Active Statement. This statement reinforces the commitment to supporting Active and Healthy Lifestyles and supporting every child to have a great start to life.

Councillor Wright spoke about the importance of children being active and fitting at least 60 minutes of physical activity into each day.

"When children are physically active they are healthier, happier and more connected to family and friends. Students also learn better at school because activity is great for waking up our brains and improving concentration."

Students were amazed to hear that in 2016 100% of Leitchville Primary School students walked, rode or scooted to school throughout October 2016. That added up to a total of 777 times or approximately 558 kilometres!

To mark the occasion, students decorated their shoes and hats and walked around Leitchville. The students showed off their decorated shoes and hats to the local business owners before walking back along the 'Drop, Park, Walk' route back to school.

A ‘Drop, Park, Walk’ route is being trialled in Leitchville as part of Walk to School in 2017 to provide an option for parents and students to park a little further away from school and preschool than normal, and active travel the rest of the way.

Students were able to see the brand new stencilling that had just been installed on the footpath with the messages 'Stop, Look, Listen, Think' at the intersections along the ‘Drop Park Walk’ route. ‘Drop, Park Walk’ stencils and feet will be installed along the ‘Drop, Park Walk’ route to show the route to school.

Councillor Wright said that this will be the fifth year Council has coordinated this successful program.

"We love seeing families walking, scooting or riding in Gannawarra to help local kids get active and build healthy habits, confidence and friendships, and it is always a fun filled month with lots of laughter."

"Getting actively to school also builds confidence and independence and allows children to practice the road safety lessons of Stop, Look, Listen, Think that they learn at school and out in the wider community." Councillor Wright said.

The Gannawarra VicHealth Walk to School program is rolled out across the Gannawarra Shire as a Gannawarra Local Agency Meeting (GLAM) partnership project. This is a partnership between Gannawarra Shire Council, Northern District Community Health, Kerang District Health, Cohuna District Hospital, Mallee District Aboriginal Service, Victoria Police, and Mallee Family Care, with support from the Southern Mallee Primary Care Partnership.

All local children and families across the Gannawarra Shire will be encouraged to get active this October by taking part in the VicHealth Walk to School program. All ten local primary schools are again registered to participate, consisting of 780 children.

Visit www.walktoschool.vic.gov.au or www.gannawarra.vic.gov.au for more information.


Date: 20 September 2017
Media contact: Katrina Thorne T. 03 5450 9333 M. 0409 616 627