West Yorkshire pupils rewarded for making great strides to get active

Pupils in West Yorkshire have been celebrating the strides they have been taking to get more active on the school run, with a visit from a special guest.

Pupils at schools in Bradford, Calderdale, Kirklees, Leeds and Wakefield were joined by Strider, the Living Streets mascot for special walk to school events.

Living Streets, the UK charity for everyday walking, is working with West Yorkshire schools to deliver WOW – the walk to school challenge in 100 schools.

WOW is a pupil-led initiative where children self-report how they get to school every day using the interactive WOW Travel Tracker. Pupils who walk, wheel, cycle or scoot at least once a week for a month are rewarded with a badge.

A generation ago, 70 per cent of primary school aged children walked to school, now it’s less than half[1]. However, WOW schools typically see an increase in walking rates by 23 per cent with a 30 per cent reduction in cars driving to the school gates.

Barkisland CE Primary School pupils are joined by Cllr Alexandra Greenwood, Cllr Peter Hunt and Strider

Jessie Davidson, Schools Coordinator, Living Streets said:

“Walking to school is a fantastic way for children to get some fresh air and spend quality time with family and friends.

“All of the schools on our ‘Strider tour’ have been doing fantastic work to encourage their pupils to get more active, helping them stay healthy and happy while also making school gates safer. We’re thrilled that we are able to rewards pupils for their hard work by bringing Strider along to meet them!”

Councillor Manisha Kaushik, the West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s Transport Committee Lead Member for Active Travel, said: 

“We are pleased to be supporting Living Streets to work with schools across West Yorkshire to enable more children to travel to school actively. From connecting us to the places we need to go, to reducing air pollution and congestion, and boosting our physical and mental health, we know getting more people cycling and walking has a vital role to play in making West Yorkshire an even better place to live, work and play – and this can start at the earliest ages.”

Fiona Meer, Co-head, Low Ash Primary School, said:

“The children are really enjoying collecting the WOW badges as a reward for their efforts in walking to school at least once each week. There is quite a bit of healthy competition between classes, too, about who can be at the top of the leader board each time. We were delighted that Strider was able to come to meet us here at Low Ash.”

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