By Derek Schlennstedt
The roads around the Yarra Ranges could be a little more crowded tomorrow (Friday, 23 March) as local schools join in 2018’s national Ride2School Day.
The event, which is held in March each year, provides an opportunity for students, parents and teachers to try riding, walking, skating or scooting to school.
Though, getting in early for the event was Montrose Primary School who instead held their Ride2School event today (22 March).
Grade four teacher Wayne Armstrong said the turnout was fantastic with over 90 percent of students choosing to walk, scoot or bike to school.
“We’ve got a planning day tomorrow for next term so we decided to have ours today,” said Mr Armstrong.
“Probably had around 90 percent of students choose to walk, scoot or bike to school which meant we had maybe 300 bikes and scooters there.
“We have quite a few small bike shed and it was overflowing … we had to put them in the hall and oval – all around the school.”“Those who lived far away dropped their kids off down the road and they walked down the road to the school … it was a good vibe all around.”
Spokesperson for the Bicycle Network, Anthea Hargreaves said students in Victoria would join half a million young people taking part in Ride2School Day nationwide.
Ms Hargreaves said the day was now in its 11th year, and the celebration would result in Victorian streets coming alive with happy and healthy students, teachers and even parents riding, walking, skating or scooting to school.
“National Ride2School Day is the flagship event of Bicycle Network’s Ride2School program, which works with more than 1,200 schools to help develop an active culture and combat physical inactivity among young people,” Ms Hargreaves said.
“It was introduced after health authorities found that-two thirds of Australia’s young people don’t get enough exercise to stay happy and healthy.”
She said children need 60 minutes of exercise a day to stay healthy and the easiest way to do this is by simply replacing time spent sitting in the car or bus with a ride to school.
“Riding to school offers countless benefits — children can grow independence, connect with friends and even improve their marks.”
“Studies have shown that those who get active on the way to school arrive more alert, focused and ready to learn.”