Thousands of children will learn the fundamentals of safely getting to and from school

Get active this autumn

by Mike Isle

More than 4,000 young people from 10 Selwyn schools will get active on their way to school for the Selwyn District Council’s second annual ‘Active Autumn’.

The council’s road safety team are running the active transport campaign for schools in term two. Ten schools covering more than 4,000 learners have registered this year.

Active transport is using a mode of transportation such as walking, skating, biking or scooting to get to and from school. The council’s school road safety coordinator Stephanie Hautler says there are many physical and mental benefits to active transport, which are being encouraged with Active Autumn.

“Children develop increased road safety awareness, decision making and risk assessment skills. It takes practice to develop skills such as being able to judge the speed of a moving vehicle, or how big a gap is needed to cross a busy road safely.”

Gaining these life skills as a child is an important step towards gaining independence and it helps with learning, she said.

During May, the council provides Selwyn schools participating in the campaign with Active Autumn packs to educate families about active transport. One activity children can take part in is the WoW challenge, where children can get a card stamped each time they walk or wheel to or from school. Completed cards will go in the draw to win an MGP scooter and helmet, plus spot prizes.

A colouring competition is also being held, with children challenged to develop their own road safety message with prizes of new helmets.

Check out selwyn.govt.nz for more information about Active Autumn.