Akld school kids in Feet First Walk to School Week
ARTA Media Release
28 February 2008
_Auckland school kids take part in Feet First Walk to School Week
The health and fitness of Auckland primary school children will get a boost when they hit the footpaths next week as part of the nationwide Feet First Walk to School Week (March 3 to 7).
Almost 60,000 children from 138 Auckland primary schools will be among the 140,000 children across New Zealand taking part in this year’s Feet First Walk to School Week. This is more than twice as many participating schools and students as in 2007.
Led by Land Transport NZ, with Auckland events coordinated by the Auckland Regional Transport Authority (ARTA), the annual Feet First Walk to School Week aims to boost the number of primary school children getting to school under their own steam.
ARTA’s Chief Executive, Fergus Gammie says, “The latest results from the Ministry of Transport’s ongoing household transport survey show that the proportion of New Zealand children being driven to school each day has jumped from 31 percent in 1990 to more than 50 percent today. In some schools nearly 90 percent of children are driven to school each day At the same time walking and cycling by five to 14-year-olds has dropped from an average of two hours and ten minutes per week to just under one hour and twenty minutes per week. The Feet First Walk to School Week aims to help turn these figures around.
“The Feet First Walk to School Week is part of ARTA’s encouragement to children and parents to get more active. Walking to school is an activity that is both healthy and fun. ARTA's walking school bus programme has proven extremely popular, and keeps growing and growing. Over 4200 children are currently walking on 235 WSB routes in primary schools throughout the Auckland region, supported by over 1800 adult volunteers.
“Walking to school is a great way for parents and caregivers to spend quality time with their children and it helps build local communities. By leaving the car at home you save money on petrol, avoid parking hassles at the school gate, teach your children valuable road safety skills and get to do your bit for the environment by reducing air pollution. And let’s not forget that walking to school is also a great way to keep fit. Hopefully taking part in Feet First Walk to School Week will encourage more Auckland children to start walking to school.”
Schools taking part in the Feet First Walk to School Week will be vying for prizes of Sanitarium school breakfasts and sports gear from AMI Insurance for the most participating students. Geared New Zealand will also be providing ROADWORKS high-visibility waterproof jackets as spot prizes.
The event’s momentum will be maintained through Walking Wednesdays and prizes for the classes with the highest participation during the first term.
For more information about Feet First Walk to School Week, including a full list of participating schools and events happening in Auckland, visit www.feetfirst.govt.nz and to find out more about ARTA’s walking school bus programme refer to www.travelwise.org.nz
Auckland events during Feet First Walk to School Week include:
A number of celebrities will be walking with Auckland primary school children during Feet First Walk to School Week:
- Wednesday 5 March:
- Suzy Cato, accompanied by Bryan and Bobbie, will be walking with Browns Bay Primary School in Browns Bay
- Sportswoman April Irimea will join the children at Bayfield Primary in Westmere for a walk
- Former Silver Fern Captain Bernice Mene will walk with the children of Waterview Primary
- Thursday 6 March:
- The Hon Nanaia Mahuta (Minister for Youth Affairs and Associate Minister for the Environment) will walk with students from Baverstock Oaks School in Flatbush, Manukau
- Friday 7 March
- The Prime Minister, Helen Clark, will hit the footpath with the students of Edendale School in Sandringham
- The Governor-General, the Hon Anand Satyanand and Mrs Susan Satyanand will walk with the children of St Francis School in Pt Chevalier
- The Hon Judith Tizard will walk with Pt Chevalier Primary
MAXX the Pukeko, the Auckland Regional Transport Authority mascot, will be out and about promoting Feet First Walk to School Week in primary schools across the Auckland region. Over the week, MAXX will be visiting:
- Monday 3 March: Sherwood Primary School, Browns Bay
- Tuesday 4 March: Browns Bay Primary, Browns Bay
- Wednesday 5 and Friday 7 March: Cornwall Park District School, Greenlane
- Thursday 6 March: Remuera Primary and Rosebank Primary, Avondale
- Friday 7 March: St Francis School, Pt Chevalier
Other events in the Auckland region include:
- Tuesday 4 March: An aerobics session with the whole Southern Cross Junior School
- Wednesday 5 March: The resident Waiheke Island Fairy will walk the children of Waiheke Primary to school
- Wednesday 5 March: The Mayor of Papakura joining in a Mad Hatters Walk to School Day at Opaheke