Brakes on vi­o­lence

Pilbara News - - News - Court­ney Fowler

Twelve cy­clists took their “Stop the Vi­o­lence” mes­sage to Roe­bourne Dis­trict High School last week as part of their 578km ride to raise aware­ness and funds for vi­o­lence preven­tion in the Pil­bara.

The six-day Ride for Unity co­in­cided with the IF Foun­da­tion’s Vi­o­lence Preven­tion Week last week, with funds raised used to sup­port com­mu­nity pro­gram­ming across the re­gion.

IF Foun­da­tion ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Bren­dan Parker said the riders vis­ited schools from Port Hed­land to Onslow to talk about vi­o­lence preven­tion and bul­ly­ing.

“We’re all here for dif­fer­ent rea­sons, but to sup­port the same fan­tas­tic cause,” he said.

“We have tried to bring the Stop the Vi­o­lence mes­sage to the kids in a way that res­onates with them in the form of a play from the IF Foun­da­tion.

“It’s not just about ed­u­cat­ing the kids, it’s a chance for us to ed­u­cate the com­mu­nity and spon­sors.”

The high­light of the visit for many came when one cy­clist, Up­stand­ing Kids founder Peter Parker, do­nated 15 stand­ing desks to the school, in what is be­lieved to be an Aus­tralia-first class­room trial.

Dr Parker said the event of­fered the op­por­tu­nity to join forces with the IF Foun­da­tion to launch the stand­ing desks at Roe­bourne Se­nior High school, with the aligned mes­sage of im­prov­ing chil­dren’s phys­i­cal and men­tal health in the class­room.

“The idea of up­stand­ing kids is that we’re in a sit­ting epi­demic — chil­dren are sit­ting to 90 per cent of their day and the health con­se­quences phys­i­cally and men­tally are enor mous,” he said.

“Just by stand­ing the kids will breathe and fo­cus bet­ter, which will mean they may do bet­ter cog­ni­tively at school.

“At Roe­bourne, we are par­tic­u­larly in­ter­ested to see how it will af­fect rates of ab­sen­teeism and class en­gage­ment in a pi­lot re­search pro­ject with Deakin Univer­sity.

“The Pil­bara is a fan­tas­tic place to launch Up­stand­ing Kids, the com­mu­nity strength of this area could see it go into other schools far more quickly than it would in the city.”

Roe­bourne Dis­trict High School prin­ci­pal David Payne said the school was ex­cited to be tri­alling the desks in the Year 2 class­room.

“We are re­ally keen to see how re­mov­ing chairs from the class room will as­sist our stu­dents with con­nect­ing their move­ment with their learn­ing and how that will re­duce dis­trac­tions in the class­room,” he said.

Pic­ture: Court­ney Fowler

The Ride for Unity cy­clists paid a visit to Roe­bourne Dis­trict High School on their 600km cy­cle from Port Hed­land to Onslow to raise aware­ness about youth vi­o­lence.

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