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VicHealth and AFL encourage families to get active on way to school as restrictions lift

VicHealth and AFL encourage families to get active on way to school as restrictions lift
October 12, 2020

As primary school children in metro Melbourne join their regional peers in heading back to school, VicHealth along with Cameron Mooney - a former AFL Geelong and North Melbourne forward - are encouraging families to get active on their commute.

By once again teaming up with the AFL Players’ Association, VicHealth’s Walk to School program aims to help more Victorian children to walk, ride, scoot or skate to school and build healthy habits for life.

New findings from a VicHealth survey show more than 1 in 4 Victorian households with children have been doing more walking or bike riding during the COVID-19 pandemic than they did in January and February this year.

Mooney said regular walks and bike rides have helped his family stay well in lockdown noting “in lockdown my wife, kids and I got into a healthy routine of getting out most days for walks or bike rides in between remote classes. It’s been nice to spend quality time together and get outside of the house.

“Now that the kids are back in the classroom, we’re trying to keep up the routine by walking or riding to school with some families who live nearby. It’s really important for them to enjoy the benefits of regular exercise from an early age.”

VicHealth Executive Manager Programs Group, Kirstan Corben said getting active on the way to school has many benefits, especially during the pandemic adding “this year has been an incredibly challenging time for Victorians, but a silver lining has been to see so many families walking and riding around their neighbourhoods during lockdown.

“Walking, riding, scooting or skating to school has enormous benefits for our kids’ physical health, but it also helps build confidence, independence and improve road safety skills.

“Travelling by bike or foot can also help ease traffic on our roads and near schools, which is important for keeping the roads safe and to help with physical distancing.

“With the weather warming up and many parents working from home, it’s an ideal time to make physical activity part of the term 4 routine.”

Victorian Minister for Roads and Road Safety Ben Carroll congratulated Victorian families for doing more walking or bike riding as we all grapple with the challenges of the pandemic.

Minister Carroll commented that “families doing more walking or bike riding with their kids is incredibly encouraging and important as we know developing active habits young helps set children up for healthier, happier lives.

“With primary school kids returning to the classroom soon I hope these efforts grow even further with school communities across Victoria walking, riding or scootering to school.”

For more information on VicHealth’s Walk to School program go to

Image: Cameron Mooney with family participating in VicHealth’s Walk to School program

Related Articles

7th April 2020 - AFL players join with VicHealth to promote wellness during Coronavirus shutdown

11th September 2020 - VicHealth study shows food delivery services pushing unhealthy options in low-income suburbs

28th August 2020 - VicHealth applauds council pop-up cycle lanes and footpaths

7th August 2020 - New VicHealth study finds LGBTI+ community still experiencing social barriers to sport participation

26th June 2020 - VicHealth continues to promote LGBTI+ inclusion in community sport

23rd June 2020 - VicHealth announces new funding for community sports clubs across Victoria

2nd March 2020 - VicHealth’s new This Girl Can campaign focuses on positive feelings

26th February 2020 - VicHealth considers new industry code on unhealthy food advertising to be ineffective

21st January 2020 - VicHealth calls for higher standards on fast food marketing to teenagers and children

19th November 2019 - VicHealth offers new funding to sports clubs

5th December 2018 - VicHealth campaign promoting physical activity to women is recognised with Fame Award

22nd April 2018 - VicHealth campaign looks to overcome barriers to women’s activity

8th May 2017 - VicHealth continues to provide funds for walking initiative

2nd July 2016 - VicHealth investing in the health and wellbeing of Victorian women

7th June 2016 - VicHealth grants back grassroots sporting clubs

7th October 2014 - VicHealth announces new initiative to get more women and girls involved in sport

4th August 2014 - VicHealth looks for new ideas to get more Victorians physically active

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