Families in Eastern Metropolitan Region are encouraged to hit the streets and walk, ride or scoot to school this October as part of VicHealth’s Walk to School program.

Shaun Leane MP, local Member for Eastern Metropolitan Region said it was great to see many local schools had registered for the health promotion foundation’s annual program which kicked off on 7 October.

“We love seeing how excited schools all over Eastern Metro are to take part in this amazing program. It’s a fun, free and easy way for kids to stay active and healthy,” Shaun Leane MP said.

“As kids walk, ride or scoot to school, they gain all the health benefits of active travel. It helps to build their confidence, self-esteem and social skills.

“It’s also a great way for parents and carers to spend quality time with their kids.”

VicHealth has partnered with the AFL Players’ Association for Walk to School 2019 to encourage even more kids to get walking, riding and scooting to help them build healthy habits for life. Participating schools have the opportunity to win a footy clinic led by an AFL or AFLW player.

“I encourage families across Eastern Metro to get involved in Walk to School 2019. The trip to and from school can be fun and active for the whole family,” Shaun Leane MP said.

VicHealth CEO Dr Sandro Demaio said with less than one fifth of kids getting enough daily physical activity to be healthy it was critical parents were encouraged to help their kids be more active.

“Walking, riding or scooting to and from school every day – even if it’s only part of the way – helps kids get some of the physical activity they need to be healthy and happy,” he said.

“If parents are nervous about their kids walking by themselves another great tip is for kids to walk with friends or neighbours until they’re ready to travel independently.

“We encourage parents and carers to support their kids and each other to take part in the Walk to School program – it’s a great way to teach them the benefits of being active and see their confidence and independence grow.”

VicHealth’s Walk to School program encourages Victorian primary school kids to walk, ride or scoot to and from school throughout October to build healthy habits for life. To find out more visit http://www.walktoschool.vic.gov.au.