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VicHealth and AFL encourage families to get active on way to school as restrictions lift
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 www.walktoschool.vic.gov.au/
Image: Cameron Mooney with family participating in VicHealth’s Walk to School program
28th August 2020 - VicHealth applauds council pop-up cycle lanes and footpaths
26th June 2020 - VicHealth continues to promote LGBTI+ inclusion in community sport
2nd March 2020 - VicHealth’s new This Girl Can campaign focuses on positive feelings
19th November 2019 - VicHealth offers new funding to sports clubs
22nd April 2018 - VicHealth campaign looks to overcome barriers to women’s activity
8th May 2017 - VicHealth continues to provide funds for walking initiative
7th June 2016 - VicHealth grants back grassroots sporting clubs
4th August 2014 - VicHealth looks for new ideas to get more Victorians physically active
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