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'Movement Monday, Shoesday Tuesday!' - Thousands put best foot forward for Walk to School Week

PUBLISHED: 05:30 20 May 2019

Over 12,000 pupils are taking part in Walk to School Week Picture: SIMON LEE PHOTOGRAPHY

Over 12,000 pupils are taking part in Walk to School Week Picture: SIMON LEE PHOTOGRAPHY

Simon Lee Photography

Families across the county are set to lace up their walking shoes and ditch the school run as part of a week-long campaign to boost activity levels in Suffolk.

Families across Suffolk are set to lace up their walking shoes and ditch the school run Picture: SIMON LEE PHOTOGRAPHYFamilies across Suffolk are set to lace up their walking shoes and ditch the school run Picture: SIMON LEE PHOTOGRAPHY

As Move Suffolk Week gets underway, thousands of pupils across the county are putting their best foot forward and taking the long route to school, in an bid to get more active and ease congestion on Suffolk's busy roads.

Over 12,000 pupils are expected to take part in Walk to School Week, which kicks off today, Monday, May 20, and is run by national charity Living Streets.

The initiative is part of Move Suffolk Week, which is the brainchild of the Most Active County Partnership - a collaboration between key local organisations committed to increasing physical activity levels across the county.

James Reeder, cabinet member for health at Suffolk County Council, said he is "delighted" so many Suffolk schools are set to take part in the campaign.

"Walking has so many benefits for the community and it's something we are keen to see more of as part of our ambitions to become the most active county in England," he said.

"Not only does it help to keep families fit and healthy but it helps to ease congestion and reduce air pollution outside our busy schools."

One of the schools taking part is The Willows Primary in Ipswich, where teachers have planned a host of activities inspired by healthy living.

Viv Hunt, assistant headteacher, said: "Walk to School week is an important week for our school and community to celebrate and promote walking and exercise.

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"Having a week where we can do a wide range of activities across the curriculum with all the children ensures that the importance of a healthy lifestyle is really explored and encouraged."

Outlining this week's activities, she said: "Monday is Movement Monday - a chance to talk to the children about why movement and exercise is so important.

"Tuesday is Shoesday - leave your school shoes at home and come in your best walking shoes.

"Wednesday is Walking Wednesday - why is walking such a brilliant way for us to keep fit and healthy?

"Thursday is Target Thursday - every child will make a target of how they can incorporate a little bit more exercise into their lives.

"Friday is Fitness Friday - children will discuss other activities and sports that they do out of school to keep fit.

"In addition every child will take home a walking tracker which they should complete and bring to school every day with them, logging how many minutes walking they do per day.

"At the end of the week there will be prizes for each class's best walker and the much-coveted 'Golden Trainer Trophy' will be awarded every day for the most active class."

Joe Irvin, chief executive of Living Streets, added: "Walking to school is an easy and free way for children to get active as part of a daily routine.

"Teachers confirm that pupils who walk to school are more alert, ready to learn and gain better grades than those who come by car."

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