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Active school journeys

Greytown School get into the Movin’March spirit. PHOTO/SUPPLIED



School children and their parents are getting into gear for this year’s Movin’March – a region-wide campaign to encourage active travel to and from school, which runs from March 5-29.

Greater Wellington Regional Council developed the campaign, which is supported by Wairarapa Road Safety Council (WRSC).

WRSC’s school travel coordinator Holly Hullena, said there was an increase every year of schools and early childhood education centres taking up the challenge to walk scoot or cycle to school.

“This year we have 17 schools and counting that have registered,” she said.

“I also encourage our rural schools to sign up so students can still have knowledge of safe and sustainable travel.

They [the children] may not travel to and from school by bike or foot, but they still need to know for their weekend and after school activities.”

Kirsty Barr, Greater Wellington’s school travel coordinator said the Walk or Wheel (WOW) passport challenge was a popular highlight of the month.

Students who walk or wheel their way to school get their passport stamped and go into the draw to win one of six $300 Avanti vouchers.

“There’s also a poster competition, WOW family day, parent photo competition and plenty of class activities to engage the children and also get them moving.”

Kirsty said there were obvious benefits, “the main one which is exercise, but there’s so much more they’re gaining”.

“Children are developing connections, getting to know their neighbourhood including learning vital road-safety skills. This development helps a child break down barriers and build a positive sense of place,” she said.

Movin’March is also for people who live too far away and have to use car transport because they can use “Park and Stride” or Walking Pou.

“This is where we’re encouraging parents to find places to park that still give students the opportunity to walk a bit of the way to and from school.

“We want all families to give it a go at least once during the month.

“But we still need schools to be the main focus for registration.”

Holly said Wairarapa schools taking part so far were: Carterton, Douglas Park, Fernridge, Greytown, Masterton Primary, Masterton Intermediate, St Mary’s, Hadlow, South Featherston, Whareama, Featherston, South End, Mauriceville, Pirinoa, Solway, St Patrick’s and Saint Teresa’s School.

“Any school in the Wairarapa region can still sign up and take part,” Holly said.

“It’s not too late, just register online.”

Once the school is registered, it’s all about getting as many families involved as possible.

People can find out more about Movin’March at movinmarch.com

Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland is Wairarapa’s Local Democracy Reporter, a Public Interest Journalism role funded through NZ On Air. Emily has worked at the Wairarapa Times-Age for seven years and has a keen interest in council decision-making and transparency.

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