Birmingham champions Walk to School Week

By on 12/05/2011 in News

Media call

Location: Villa Park
Date and Time: Monday 16 May at 1.30pm

Birmingham pupils are setting the pace with an event to encourage walking to school.

The city council and Villa in the Community have teamed up with national charity Living Streets to launch this year's Walk to School Week.

Around 90 pupils from 10 Birmingham schools will have a road safety lesson, a stadium tour and a physical activity session at Villa Park on Monday 16 May to mark the start of the week.

Councillor Les Lawrence, cabinet member for children, young people and families, said: “Walking to school regularly is a fantastic way to help reach the recommended daily 60 minutes of activity to improve health. By encouraging families to ditch the car keys and get to school on foot the campaign aims to show that it is not just PE lessons that are needed to give children a healthy start in life.”

Councillor Timothy Huxtable, cabinet member for transport, environment and regeneration, added: “Walking to school saves time and money and reduces vehicle congestion. I am delighted to support this exciting initiative by Living Streets and Villa in the Community, complemented by Birmingham's Safer Routes to Schools and road safety education programmes, to encourage regular walking.”

Duncan Riddle, head of community at Aston Villa said: “We are delighted to be able to assist in the launch of Walk to School Week. We have been working hard over the past 5 years with the local PCTs & the city council to help tackle the rise in childhood obesity in Birmingham so Walk to School Week is a natural fit. Encouraging children to exercise is crucial in tackling this problem and there is no simpler and more effective method than walking.”

Tony Armstrong, chief executive of Living Streets said: “We are really excited to be holding a Walk to School Week launch event with Birmingham City Council and Villa in the Community and hope that the event inspires children to get into the walking habit. Walking is a brilliant way to get some physical activity and some fresh air into your day.  When children are bundled from front door to car door, they miss out on the opportunity to socialise with friends, get to know their community, and burn off some energy before getting their heads down in the books.”

Walk to School Week runs from 16 to 20 May as part of National Walking Month.

Ends

Livings Streets' Walk to School campaign is supported by the Department for Transport, Transport for London ACTravelwise and Modeshift, and delivered in partnership with local organisers throughout England. For further information visit www.walktoschool.org.uk

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