Get­ting kids ac­tive wins re­wards

Hastings Leader - - News -

An in­ter-school com­pe­ti­tion de­signed to en­cour­age chil­dren to be more ac­tive has had a suc­cess­ful first year, with Clive School the in­au­gu­ral win­ner.

Seven Hast­ings district pri­mary schools took part in the six-week Move It com­pe­ti­tion that be­gan mid-Oc­to­ber this year and chal­lenged chil­dren to walk, cy­cle or scooter to school, in a con­test to clock up more ac­tiv­ity than com­pet­ing schools.

The chil­dren were given a card each week that was clipped for ev­ery day they walked or rode to school, and in the fi­nal re­sults Clive School took out the top honours for the high­est par­tic­i­pa­tion, just pip­ping Hau­moana School at the post.

For its ef­forts, Clive School was re­warded with a $500 voucher from EdS­ports to buy sports equip­ment.

Clive School prin­ci­pal Brian Eales says that while this was the first year of the com­pe­ti­tion, the school had been in­volved with the Move It pro­gramme since it be­gan in 2014, with the num­ber of chil­dren walk­ing, cy­cling or scooter­ing to school in­creas­ing each year, re­gard­less of the weather.

He says the school sup­ported the Move It pro­gramme be­cause it was healthy, got stu­dents out of cars, and re­duced traf­fic vol­umes out­side the school gates at key times.

“To win this com­pe­ti­tion means that the ef­forts by chil­dren over these past four years have been no­ticed.”

Sport Hawke’s Bay com­mu­nity cy­cling and walk­ing de­vel­op­ment of­fi­cer Fran Rose says they were de­lighted with how the com­pe­ti­tion went in its first year.

“We def­i­nitely saw chil­dren ben­e­fit­ing from it and the schools noted a pos­i­tive dif­fer­ence — the stu­dents had more en­ergy and were ready to start learn­ing as soon as they got to school.

“One of the teach­ers also said to me that the kids found bik­ing a re­ward in it­self.”

In gen­eral it’s rec­om­mended that chil­dren get at least one hour of ac­tive ex­er­cise per day.

Ac­tive travel to and from school sig­nif­i­cantly in­creases the amount of ex­er­cise that chil­dren get each day.

In ad­di­tion, such ex­er­cise has been found to give chil­dren a boost of en­ergy that makes them much more will­ing to learn and par­tic­i­pate in class.

Clive School stu­dents Toby Gre­gory and Leighton Waitaki-Makea col­lect their school prize, joined on stage by school prin­ci­pal Brian Eales and Sport Hawke’s Bay com­mu­nity cy­cling and walk­ing de­vel­op­ment of­fi­cer Fran Rose.

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