Walking to school instils a love of exercise, says former Wales captain

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The former football star is one of thousands of parents in Wales joining Walk to School Week (20-24 May). Over 250,000 children in more than 900 schools across the UK will swap the school run for a walk during the week.

“Walking with my girls to school is a lovely way to start the day – we chat about the day ahead and get energised before we start school and work,” said Laura McAllister.

“As an athlete I think it’s so important to instil a love of exercise at an early age. Walking, scooting, or cycling to school is a fun and easy way for kids to get the recommended 60 minutes of daily physical activity. Only half of primary school children in Wales walk to school, which means that many are missing out on the huge health and mental health benefits of getting out and about.” 

“I hope that Living Streets’ Walk to School Week encourages pupils and their families to discover the magic of walking.”

A survey commissioned by Living Streets for Walk to School Week asked parents and carers in Wales what benefits their child experiences from walking regularly. Respondents answered physical health benefits (82%), improved road safety skills (59%), quality time spent with family (56%) and improved wellbeing (53%).

Walk to School Week is organised by Living Streets, the UK charity for everyday walking, as part of their National Walking Month campaign.  

Families are encouraged to walk, wheel, cycle, scoot or ‘Park and Stride’ for the whole week. Benefits of the campaign include healthier and happier children and fewer cars outside the school gates.

Katherine Holcroft leads on Living Street’s walk to school programme, she said:

“I’m delighted that Laura McAllister is supporting Walk to School Week. It’s a wonderful opportunity for pupils to come together and enjoy the many benefits of walking to school. 

“Schools that take part can enjoy reduced congestion and pollution, while children and parents and carers get spend quality time together while getting active.  

“We can’t wait to see families getting out in the fresh air and joining this Walk to School Week. We’re also delighted that thousands more children in Wales will enjoy the benefits of walking to school, thanks to a two-year project funded by the Welsh Government.” 

For more information on Walk to School Week, visit livingstreets.org.uk/wtsw

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