In partnership with Active Calderdale, primary schools across the borough have been taking part in the Big Walk and Wheel challenge, an annual event organised by Sustrans, the UK charity dedicated to enabling people to walk and wheel more.
During the two-week challenge, students and their families were encouraged to actively travel to school rather than using a vehicle.
All forms of self-propelled transport counted, including walking, wheelchair use, cycling and scooting, with participating schools logging a daily count of the number of students who travelled actively each day. The journeys were logged as a percentage so that all schools, no matter the size, had a balanced result.
As an extra incentive, Active Calderdale ran the event as a borough-wide competition, with schools competing to see who could log the most active journeys.
Local business WJ Roadmarkings Ltd of Elland agreed to gift a £1000 playground makeover to the winning Calderdale school and Active Calderdale provided four runners-up prizes of £250 to be spent on active equipment for the schools.
Calderdale Council’s Director for Public Health, Debs Harkins, said: “The Big Walk and Wheel challenge has been a great success and it’s been wonderful to hear the stories of children and young people discovering the joys of being active and building activity into their school day.
“Supporting schools to deliver incentives like this is a key part of our Active Calderdale mission. Developing a positive attitude towards physical activity is really important for children and can help them to feel more motivated, confident and able to be more active throughout their life.”
The winning school was New Road Primary School in Sowerby Bridge, with runners up being Ash Green Community Primary School, Mixenden; St. John’s Primary School, Rishworth; Field Lane Primary School, Rastrick; and Ripponden Junior and Infant School, Ripponden.
Calderdale Council’s Director of Children and Young People’s Services, Julie Jenkins, said: “Congratulations to New Road Primary for their success in the Big Walk and Wheel challenge. I know that staff and pupils have really got on board with the idea of active travel and it’s great that they’ll soon be able to enjoy the benefits of a new playground as a reward for their efforts.
“I’m delighted that so many of our primary schools have been taking part in the Big Walk and Wheel and it’s even better than many pupils and their families are continuing to use active methods to travel to school despite the challenge ending.”
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