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Active travel reaches milestone 15th year

Movin’March, Greater Wellington’s annual programme to encourage students to walk or wheel their way to school, is now up and running for its 15th year.

Registrations are open until March 2024 for students in years 0–8, with spot prizes for early birds who sign up before December 8.

“Movin’March is designed to get students excited about active travel.

“Fun challenges and classroom activities help tamariki understand why walking, wheeling, or riding the bus to school is good for their wellbeing as well as the planet’s,” Greater Wellington Travel Choice advisor Maddy McVie said.

This year, Movin’March did just that, with the participation of a record-breaking 140 schools and thousands of students across the greater Wellington region, including Wairarapa.

“For 14 years, students’ footsteps and tyre tracks have made a positive impact on their region, and there’s no slowing down,” McVie said.

She has high hopes for 2024 participation.

During March, students will learn about travel choices, health, and sustainability.

“Every week, the Movin’March resources will highlight five key benefits of active travel, like making connections, building confidence, and it being an adventure,” McVie said.

Students will carry ‘passports’ to track their progress throughout the month and are stamped every time they walk, wheel, or bus to or from school.

The completed passports are then entered in a draw to win one of six $400 vouchers from My Ride cycle stores at the end of the month. Students can also use the Waka Kotahi Te Haerenga o Ngā Tamariki tool to log and track their travel on a device within the classroom.

The classroom’s data is then presented in a way that encourages conversations about how to make sustainable and healthy travel choices.

Regional councillor Yadana Saw said Movin’March is a great way to teach children the benefits of healthy and sustainable travel and how to implement healthy habits.

“It’s a super fun way to get to know your own neighbourhood. It also helps students understand the effect their travel choices have on the world around them. Consciously choosing active travel is a habit that’ll stick for years to come.”

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