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Walk to School Week goes nationwide

28 March 2008

40,000 more Kiwi kids back on their feet as Walk to School Week goes nationwide

A record number of Kiwi kids got on their feet and walked to class during Feet First Walk to School Week 2008, from March 3-7.

Figures released today by Land Transport New Zealand show that over 100,000 students from 440 participating schools hit the footpaths on Walk to School Day (Wednesday March 5), 40,000 more than recorded in a survey carried out two weeks before.

The proportion of children walking to the participating schools increased from an average of 41 percent prior to Feet First week to an average of 73 percent on Walk to School Day - a big boost for walking and a significant decrease in the number of students being driven to school.

Feet First Walk to School Week activities took place in 43 towns, cities and districts across the country this year, helping to double the number of participating schools and students from last year.

The results throughout the country were impressive, with eight schools managing to achieve 100 percent on Walk to School Day, with all of their students walking to school on this day. Schools with the highest participation rates received prizes as follows:
 $2,000 worth of sports gear - Sunset Primary School, Rotorua
 $500 worth of sports gear - Maungawhau School, Auckland; Mellons Bay School, Auckland; Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Te Rotoiti, Rotorua; Brightwater School, Tasman; Waimairi School, Christchurch
 $250 worth of sports gear - St Francis School, Auckland; Riverhead School, Auckland; Te Kura o Matapihi, Tauranga; Henley School, Tasman; Limehills School, Southland
Congratulations to the following schools who have won Sanitarium breakfasts for the entire school for getting the most students walking to school during the week:

 Bayfield School, Auckland
 Henderson Intermediate, Auckland
 Selwyn Ridge School, Tauranga
 Papamoa School, Tauranga
 Kapanui School, Kapiti Coast
 San Antonio School, Wellington
 Thorrington School, Christchurch
 Westburn School, Christchurch
Special mention goes to Brightwater School in the Tasman District, who managed to achieve a 100% participation rate for all 228 of their students every day of the week.

Visit www.landtransport.govt.nz/feet-first/results/walk-to-school-week.html for a full list of the schools that took part.

To keep the focus on walking to school after the week, schools have also been encouraged to take part in ‘Walking Wednesdays’ during the first term. Feet First Week and the Walking Wednesdays programme aim to get more children out of cars and onto their feet. Children are encouraged to continue walking to school with friends or caregivers, or as part of a walking school bus throughout the year.

Walking to school increases fitness, health, social interaction with for children, while reducing the amount of money spent on petrol, relieving congestion at the school gate, and helping to cut energy use and vehicle emissions.

ENDS

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