Girl Guides South Australia are stepping into action for Walk Safely to School Day acting as ambassadors in their own primary schools to encourage thousands of South Australian Primary school-aged children to put their feet first and head towards a healthier future by participating in National Walk Safely to School Day on tomorrow, Friday, 20 May 2022.
National Walk Safely to School Day is a community initiative that aims to raise awareness of the health, road safety, transport and environmental benefits that regular walking (especially to and from school) can provide for the long term well-being of our children.
Apart from the physical benefits, regular walking also has a favourable impact on children’s cognitive and academic performance. For the first time, Girl Guides South Australia has joined the list of ambassadors for Walk Safely to School Day and will promote the event within their local communities.
Girl Guide leaders have also incorporated lessons on road safety and healthy habits into their regular unit meetings. CEO of Girl Guides South Australia, Kerrie Akkermans said that it was a natural fit for us to collaborate with Walk Safely to School Day.
“It is an important initiative and one we feel strongly about. Having the opportunity to teach our members about road safety and the benefits of regular walking in the lead-up to the event has been warmly welcomed.” She said.
Now in its 23rd year, the annual event has also joined forces with National Road Safety Week (15 -22 May) for the first time to further draw the spotlight on road safety and support the importance of regular walking, not just on 20 May, but every day.
Harold Scruby, Chairman and CEO of the Pedestrian Council of Australia said that the community campaign has a number of important messages, but road safety for our young Australians is paramount.
“Until they are 10, children must always hold the hand of an adult when crossing the road,” he said.
Walk Safely to School Day also encourages positive environmental action, better use of public transport with reduced car dependency and encourages parents and carers to walk more, reducing dangerous traffic congestion around schools.
The national initiative also promotes healthy eating and encourages schools and P&Cs to Host a Healthy Breakfast on the day.
“The extremely disturbing childhood obesity epidemic continues to affect 1 in 4* children at critical levels across Australia.”
“The best exercise for all Australians is walking regularly. Children need at least 60 minutes of physical activity a day. We should encourage them to take a walk before school, during and at end of their day,” said Harold Scruby.
Schools are encouraged to get involved and support their school community in this initiative.
National Walk Safely to School Day is on Friday 20 May. For more information visit the website here.