Pupils walk and wheel to school

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Fun walk ... Siblings Lucas Nicholson Cepero (8) and Crickett Ferguson (5) lead a procession of fellow Balaclava School pupils on the final day of the annual Walk n Wheel to School Week on Friday. PHOTO: SHAWN MCAVINUE

More than 6000 pupils made their own way to school in Dunedin last week, Sport Otago says.

Sport Otago Walk n Wheel co-ordinator Kate Mossman said pupils from 33 Dunedin schools took part in the annual Walk n Wheel to School Week.

The event was developed by Sport Otago to promote active transport for schoolchildren.

Pupils were encouraged to walk, cycle, skate or scoot to school during the week.

Using active transport to and from school had a wide range of benefits for pupils and the wider community, she said.

Active transport increased health and fitness levels, provided social and environmental benefits and enhanced pupils’ overall wellbeing, while giving them the opportunity to learn and use their road safety skills, she said.

“Reducing congestion at the school gate increases the safety of our children, and reduces the stress of parents trying to find that prime position at the school.”

Balaclava School principal Gary Marsh said if more pupils continued walking to school it would be “fantastic”.

The school was in a hilly part of the city, which made it difficult for pupils to access the school by bike or scooter, so walking was the best option for pupils wanting to “get to school under their own steam”.

Balaclava School pupil Lucas Nicholson Cepero said he walked to school every day last week.

“It was fun to walk with friends and it helps me stay fit.”