Primary school aged children across Australia will take those important steps towards a healthier future by participating in National Walk Safely to School Day on Friday 20 May 2022.
Sutherland Shire dual Olympian Peter Hadfield is lending his support as an Ambassador and will be getting out walking with kids to promote health and fitness.
"I'm 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 more than a quarter of Australian children are either overweight or obese," Peter Hadfield said.
"Regular exercise for school kids and their parents provides significant benefits and I would encourage as many families and school students as possible to not only participate in the Walk Safely to School Day but to continue to exercise on a regular basis."
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 the long-term well-being of our children.
Apart from the physical benefits, regular walking also has a favourable impact on children's cognitive and academic performance.
Now in its 23rd year, the annual event has joined forces with National Road Safety Week (15 - 22 May) to further draw the spotlight on road safety and support the importance of regular walking, not just on 20 May, but every day.
Harold Scruby, Chairman and CEO of the Pedestrian Council of Australia said that "until they are 10, children must always hold the hand of an adult when crossing the road".
Walk Safely to School Day also encourages positive environmental action, better use of public transport with reduced car-dependency and encourages parents and carers to walk more, reducing dangerous traffic congestion around schools. The national initiative also promotes healthy eating and encourages schools and P&Cs to Host a Healthy Breakfast on the day.
"Children need at least 60 minutes of physical activity a day. We should encourage them to take a walk before school, during and at end of their day," Harold Scruby said.
Top 5 tips for parents to get their kids walking to school:
1. Walk some or if you can, walk all the way to school
2. Get off the bus, train, or tram a few stops earlier and walk the rest of the way
3. Leave the car at least 1km away from school and walk the rest of the way
4. Set your alarm 30 minutes earlier to fit in a walk to school
5. If you can't walk in the morning, walk home after school
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.