Pupils across Scotland will benefit from getting active on the school run as another year of WOW – the walk to school challenge begins.  

Pupils from Papdale Primary in Orkney were joined by Strider, Living Streets’ mascot, and Orkney Islands Council Road Safety Officer, Yvonne Scott at an outdoor assembly in the school playground to officially launch the new year today (1 September).  

Living Streets has brought WOW - the walk to school challenge to Scotland schools since 2007. WOW is a nationwide project proven to increase walking rates by 23% and reduce the number of cars at school gates by 30% on average. 

This year sees WOW launch to over 100 schools across Scotland.  

Orkney pupils

Lee Craigie, Active Nation Commissioner, Scotland said: 

“We are all driven to protect the people we love. We are also hard wired to save ourselves time and effort. But driving our kids to schools is one of the most dangerous false economies we invent. By removing the simple daily pleasure of walking, cycling or wheeling to school, we miss the opportunity to instil in our kids patterns of everyday active behaviour that will improve and prolong their lives. Who doesn't want that for the people they love?" 

Wendy Bowen, Head Teacher at Papdale Primary School, said: 

“We’ve been encouraging pupils at Papdale Primary School to get active for many years and have seen some great results. Taking part in WOW has been a huge part of this and helps us keep our children healthy and happy. We’re really excited to be starting a new year of WOW and the pupils can’t wait to see what’s in store - and start collecting their new badges." 

Yvonne Scott, Road Safety Officer, Orkney Islands Council, said: 

“Delighted that Papdale Primary School has been selected to be a feature school and excited to be welcoming Strider to Papdale to launch the WOW challenge. Papdale pupils participated previously in 2019 and were extremely successful in increasing the active travel levels of pupils with sustainable choices of walking, cycling, scooting or parking and striding becoming very popular modal choices for the pupil’s commute to/from school.” 

Find out more about WOW - the walk to school challenge