Healthy New Town project encourages children to walk to school

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[dropcap type =”circle”]B[/dropcap]icester’s schoolchildren are taking part in this year’s Walk to School Week, a national programme organised by Living Streets, the UK charity for everyday walking.
As part of Cherwell District Council’s Healthy New Town Programme, the three secondary schools (The Bicester School, the Cooper School and the Bicester Technology Studio) and the 17 local primary schools in Bicester and the surrounding villages have been sponsored to join this year’s Walk to School Week, adding up to the highest number of schools participating in the Oxfordshire.
The Walk to School Week will run from Monday 15 to Friday 20 May. Each school has received a pack of material to encourage children to walk to school including activity diaries, wallcharts, stickers, magnets and more. This year’s challenge will take pupils on a journey to explore key features of the environment where they live.
Karen Curtin, Cherwell’s commercial director, said: “We expect the streets of Bicester to be full of kids next week. Walking to school is an easy way for them to build more activity into their day and it reduces congestion and pollution around the school gates.
“One of the objectives of the Healthy New Town Programme is to tackle childhood obesity, which is a direct product of inactivity. We have been effectively working with the schools in Bicester over the last year providing them guidance on a balanced diet and on the level of physical activity pupils need to stay healthy.
“According to Living Streets, just 46 per cent of children walk to school now compared to 70 per cent of their parents’ generation. We need to reverse this decline and prevent the problems associated with inactivity, and Walk to School Week is a great way to start.
“Given the level of participation in the town and the surrounding area, the highest in the county, at this year walk to school week, I would say that Healthy Bicester is finally taking shape.”
Healthy Bicester will be officially launched on Saturday 13 May with an action packed day, including a free open beach and the sandcastle building competition, music and dance performances, zorb football and many more sports activities.

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