City of Boroondara will join VicHealth in its mission to get kids walking, riding and scooting to school this October as part of the health promotion foundation’s annual Walk to School program.

Walk to School month encourages kids and families to get active on the trip to and from school to help build healthy habits for life.

Council will work with local primary schools to deliver a range of activities encouraging more families to walk, ride or scoot to school with funding of $10,000 from VicHealth.

Local kids are also encouraged to put their creativity on show by decorating their shoes, bikes and scooters on the way to school.

Mayor of Boroondara Cr Jim Parke said VicHealth’s Walk to School program is a free, easy and fun way for kids to get active and learn healthy habits for life.

“It is important for children to keep active and meet the recommended 60 minutes of physical activity every day to improve their health. Only one in five children aged five to 17 years get this recommended amount, showing just how important the Walk to School program is.

“We want to make walking to school easy and attractive for families, and will be running activities and competitions over the next few weeks for families and schools to get involved in.

“Last year, 23 local primary schools participated in the VicHealth initiative. Council will continue to support and encourage local schools to participate in the program, to help make Walk to School bigger and better in 2018,” said Cr Parke.

VicHealth CEO Jerril Rechter said each year the Walk to School program continues to grow with more and more schools taking part with fantastic results.

“Walking, riding or scooting to and from school every day is an easy way to make physical activity part of kids’ daily life which is why our Walk to School program is so important,” Ms Rechter said.

“Last year more than 140,000 kids from over 750 schools across Victoria took part in Walk to School and walked the equivalent of two return trips to the moon. This year we hope to get even more schools involved in the program to improve the health of our kids.

“Helping our kids to get active is so important for their health and wellbeing – which is why it’s great to have the support of City of Boroondara to get more local kids walking, riding or scooting to school.”

Council will be holding a breakfast launch event when school recommences in October to launch Walk to School month. Families will be encouraged to take part in the activities, including taking a photo with the unveiled Walk to School sculpture to go in the running for prizes and pedal powering their own healthy breakfast drink on the smoothie bike.

Prior to the end of term three, Council’s Walk to School team will be distributing an activity to all schools taking part in the program with some great prizes for students up for grabs.

Local schools who take part in Walk to School will also be in the running to win specialised AFL Footy Clinics with an AFL or AFLW player.

Schools and councils can register at the Walk to School website www.walktoschool.vic.gov.au.