Warrnambool students travel actively to school

Walking, riding and scooting were the coolest ways to travel to class on Friday as children across Warrnambool participated in Walk Safely to School.

The day, part of Warrnambool City Council’s Healthy Moves initiative, encourages families to use active transport to get to school. 

Travel Smart officer Nicole Wood said children were encouraged to “stop, look, listen, think” before crossing the road. She also asked motorists to slow down in local streets and to make eye contact with children. “It’s all about a community effort. Everyone plays a part,” Ms Wood said. 

Leading by example: St Joseph's Primary School students Caity O'Leary, 11, and Charlie Hughes, 10, put their best foot forward for Walk to School Day on Friday. Picture: Rob Gunstone

Leading by example: St Joseph's Primary School students Caity O'Leary, 11, and Charlie Hughes, 10, put their best foot forward for Walk to School Day on Friday. Picture: Rob Gunstone

She said feedback from children included that they enjoyed walking with their friends and felt “grown up” when they were trusted to walk to school alone. “It’s an easy way to get your 60 minutes of exercise per day.”

Ms Wood said teachers found that the children who actively traveled to school were more alert, settled and ready to learn.

In the 10 years Ms Wood has been in the role she has noticed an increase in the number of families walking or riding to school. “There’s been a shift of thinking that children don’t have to be driven all the time and that there are other options.”