McIvor Times - - FRONT PAGE -

WITH our weight prob­lems go­ing off the charts — more than 60 per cent of Aus­tralians range from over­weight to obese — lo­cal chil­dren voted with their feet as part of VicHealth’s Walk to School pro­gram dur­ing Oc­to­ber.

Sup­ported by Heath­cote and Dis­trict Com­mu­nity Bank Branch the pro­gram en­cour­aged stu­dents and their fam­i­lies to get ac­tive and walk, ride or scoot to school.

Bank man­ager Michael Prowse said VicHealth’s Walk to School pro­gram was a free, easy and fun way for kids to get ac­tive and learn healthy habits for life.

“Bendigo Bank was proud to get be­hind this im­por­tant ini­tia­tive at a cor­po­rate level and as a com­mu­nity bank we are com­mit­ted to help­ing our com­mu­nity thrive through sup­port­ing lo­cal kids to get ac­tive and build healthy habits, con­fi­dence and friend­ships,” Mr Prowse said.

Heath­cote Pri­mary, Redes­dale Mia Mia Pri­mary and Axedale Pri­mary all took part.

Th­ese schools will re­ceive cer­tifi­cates to cel­e­brate their stu­dents’ achieve­ments, and are in the run­ning for a series of prizes pro­vided by VicHealth.

Heath­cote Pri­mary Prin­ci­pal Kate Bal­lan­tyne said par­tic­i­pa­tion num­bers have in­creased — and that’s a good sign for fu­ture health.

“This year we’ve seen an in­crease in fam­i­lies walk­ing, rid­ing or scoot­ing in our lo­cal com­mu­nity with around half of our stu­dents tak­ing part,” Ms Bal­lan­tyne said.

VicHealth chief ex­ec­u­tive Jer­ril Rechter said each year the walk to school pro­gram con­tin­ued to grow with more schools tak­ing part with fan­tas­tic re­sults.

“Last year more than 144,000 kids from more than 750 schools across Vic­to­ria took part in walk to school. To­gether they walked more than 2.2 mil­lion kilo­me­tres – the equiv­a­lent of walk­ing al­most 55 times around the world,” Ms Rechter said.

“Our part­ner­ship with Bendigo Bank will see even more lo­cal kids get­ting ac­tive as they travel to and from school.

“Walk to school is an an­nual fun, free way to get school kids ac­tive and help them build life­long healthy habits. It’s also a great way for par­ents and car­ers to en­joy some qual­ity time with their kids.”

VicHealth’s Walk to School pro­gram en­cour­ages Vic­to­rian pri­mary school chil­dren to walk, ride or scoot to and from school through­out Oc­to­ber each year and build healthy habits for life. Find out more about walk to school at www.walk­

Heath­cote Pri­mary stu­dents took part in VicHealth's walk to school month re­cently.

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