A wheelie big celebration

Active travel was the focus of the day for more than 350,000 students at over 900 schools around the country today for National Ride2School Day. 

Schools across every state participated in Australia's biggest celebration of active transport this morning before class, with students, parents and teachers encouraged to leave the car at home and ride, walk, scoot or skate their way to school. 

South Melbourne Primary School was alive with activity, with with aerobics, obstacle courses and bike decorations all planned for the bid day. Minister Nina Taylor was also there soaking up the renowned Ride2School atmosphere, while proudly announcing a $1.5M funding from the Victorian Government to keep the important program running.

“Ride2School Day is an excellent opportunity for families to consider a safe way to travel – while also staying active,” said Minister Ben Carroll, who also attended the event.

National Ride2School Day is the peak of the Ride2School program, which works with students and schools to help as many children as possible get their 60 minutes of daily exercise by riding a bike to school.

Launched by Bicycle Network in 2006, Ride2School is a nationally run, year-round behaviour change initiative aims to make active travel normal for students while improving school outcomes.

The program tailors its assistance to suit the needs or overcome active travel barriers faced by both primary and secondary school communities.

In the 1970s, around 60% of all school children rode or walked to school but now more than two-thirds go by car. Bicycle Network’s Ride2School program strives to turn this around.

Schools that participate in the Ride2School program average an active travel rate of nearly 50%, more than double the national average

Bicycle Network General Manager of Behaviour Change, Leyla Asadi, said that today is a great time to discover the joy of riding and kick-start healthy habits for the future.

“Riding to school is free and fun and can also help students perform better in the classroom. Studies have shown students arrive at school energised, alert and more ready to learn,” said Ms Asadi.

"It was amazing to see so many students around the country enjoying themselves this morning, while simultaneously unlocking the many benefits of active travel and building the foundations for future healthy habits."

"And after what has been a tough couple of years in and out of the classroom for students, parents and teachers, there was an extra air of excitement as everyone came together to celebrate a great cause."

You can catch up with the latest from National Ride2School Day by following @ride2school or @bicycle_network on Facebook and #Ride2SchoolDay.

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