Guest article – Living Streets
St Mary’s Catholic Primary School in Wrexham and charity Living Streets Cymru marked International Walk to School Month at a celebration event on Thursday, October 26.
As part of a two-year project, Living Streets Cymru is working with 170 primary schools and 42 secondary schools to deliver its walk to school programme in Wales.
St Mary’s Catholic Primary School is one of eight schools in Wrexham starting WOW – the walk to school challenge from Living Streets – this academic year.
WOW sees pupils record how they get to school using the interactive WOW Travel Tracker with those who walk, wheel, cycle, scoot or ‘Park and Stride’ to school being awarded a monthly WOW badge.
Only around 50 per cent of primary school children in Wales walk to school and Living Streets is working to help more families choose cleaner and healthier ways to travel. WOW schools typically see an increase in walking rates of 23 per cent with a 30 per cent reduction in cars driving to the school gates.
Stephen Edwards, Chief Executive, Living Streets, said: “Walking or wheeling to school is an easy way for children and families to keep fit, healthy and happy. It helps contribute to the 60 active minutes a day recommended by health experts, while reducing congestion, carbon emissions and air pollution.
“We’re thrilled to have more pupils in Wrexham and across Wales reaping the benefits of walking to school with WOW.”
Gwen Thomas, Strategic Transport Manager at Wrexham Council, said: “I had a lovely morning meeting pupils and teachers at St Mary’s Catholic Primary School and learning all about how they enjoy the walk to school.
“It’s great to see to see how the school is working with Living Streets Cymru to make the walk to school an accessible option for pupils and their families. I’m sure this will encourage more children to make the most of the health and environmental benefits that come from regular exercise.”
Mrs Acton, Headteacher, St Mary’s Catholic Primary School, said:” At St Mary’s Catholic Primary School, we see International Walk to School Month as a great opportunity to kick off our new active travel journey with WOW. I’m sure that pupils will enjoy using the interactive WOW Travel Tracker to log their journeys each morning – and it will encourage more children and their families enjoy walking, wheeling, cycling or scooting to school and we look forward to seeing how this will have a positive impact on their well-being and our environment.”