Olympians step out with students

Walkers: Olympian Steph Magiros steps out with the students from Taren Point Public School. Picture: Chris Lane
Walkers: Olympian Steph Magiros steps out with the students from Taren Point Public School. Picture: Chris Lane

School children from across NSW have put their feet first and journeyed towards a healthier future by participating in the 22nd anniversary of National Walk Safely to School Day on Friday, May 14.

National Walk Safely to School Day is a community initiative that aims to raise awareness of the health, road safety, transport, and environmental benefits that regular walking (especially to and from school) can provide for children's long-term well-being.

Apart from the physical benefits, regular walking also has a favourable impact on their mental health and academic performance.

The annual event raises awareness of the health, road safety, transport and environmental benefits that regular walking can provide for your long-term well-being.

Apart from the physical benefits, regular walking also has a favourable impact on children's cognitive and academic performance.

Former Sutherland Shire Olympians Steph Magiros and Peter Hadfield lent their support as Ambassadors and got out walking with kids to promote health and fitness.

Peter Hadfield said he was delighted to be an Ambassador for Walk Safely to School Day.

"Fitness and well-being have always been an integral part of my life, and it concerns me greatly that a quarter of Australian children are either overweight or obese," he said

Steph Magiros, who walked alongside the students from Taren Point Public School, said there has never been a better time to build walking into your kid's daily routine by walking to and from school.

Pedestrian Council of Australia Chairman Harold Scruby said the community had embraced the day more than ever, with many thousands of parents also joining their children on the walk to school to reinforce the messages of safety and a healthy lifestyle.

"Our children are our most valuable asset, and it takes just a little investment for a great outcome when the kids clearly enjoy this initiative so much, as we have seen from photos and videos posted across the country," he said.

"I want to thank the schools and P&C groups for getting behind the event and our Ambassadors like Steph Magiros and Peter Hadfield, who led the way by example and went walking with the kids on the day."

The day also encourages primary school-aged children to build walking into their daily routine.

Walking to and from school, not just on Friday, but every day encourages parents and carers to walk more, reduces dangerous traffic congestion around schools, and promotes better use of public transport with reduced car dependency.

Harold Scruby said children ten years old and under should obey the vitally important road safety message of holding an adult's hand when crossing the road.