Gowrie Street Primary kids walk safely to school

Lining up: National Walk Safely to School Day at Gowrie Street Primary School. Photos by Megan Fisher. Photo by Megan Fisher

The kids at Gowrie Street Primary School were set to put foot to pavement on Friday, May 20, for the 23rd National Walk Safely to School Day.

“Half or maybe three quarters of our kids probably walk to school,” principal Eron Chapman said.

“A lot of our kids get up and get themselves ready and get themselves to school.

“It's a nice way for us to celebrate them and their walking to school.”

Over we go: Gowrie Street Primary School students Yulkirri Bamblett, Year 5, Evelyn Burgess, Year 1, teacher Jack McCormick, Jj Sauiluma in Foundation, and Israel Fotu, Year 6. Photo by Megan Fisher

Walk Safely to School Day encourages reduced car dependency and encourages parents and carers to walk more, reducing traffic congestion around schools.

“(It’s) a way to encourage some of our other families to get some exercise first thing in the morning and get their brains ready for learning,” Ms Chapman said.

“For their physical and also their mental wellbeing and also a little bit of a social interaction.

“A lot of our families do live close by, (students) get a bit of a chance to chat with each other while they walk to school.”

This annual event aligns with National Road Safety Week (May 15 to 22) to highlight the health benefits of walking to and from school, while staying safe by the road.

“The best exercise for all Australians is walking regularly,” Pedestrian Council of Australia chairman and chief executive Harold Scruby said.

“Children need at least 60 minutes of physical activity a day. We should encourage them to take a walk before school, during and at the end of their day.”

Top five tips for parents to get their kids walking to school:

1. Walk some or all the way to school.

2. Get off the bus, train, or tram a few stops earlier and walk the rest of the way.

3. Leave the car at least 1km away from school and walk the rest of the way.

4. Set your alarm 30 minutes earlier to fit in a walk to school.

5. If you can’t walk in the morning, walk home after school.