Pupils in Wales will be able to benefit from getting active on the school run now that a UK-wide walk to school programme has launched in Welsh and English (6 February 2019).   

(fersiwn Cymraeg)

Living Streets, the UK charity for everyday walking is bringing WOW – the year-round walk to school challenge to schools across Wales. Resources are available in dual-language, allowing all pupils in Wales to take part.

WOW – the year-round walk to school challenge launched today (6 February) with a walk to school and an assembly at Ysgol Glan Morfa, Splott. Pupils from the school were joined by Strider, the Living Streets mascot; Cllr Huw Thomas, leader of Cardiff Council and Lee Waters AM, the Deputy Minister for Economy and Transport. 

Walk to school

With WOW, pupils record their journeys to school daily on the interactive WOW Travel Tracker. Those who walk to school at least once a week for a month are awarded a WOW badge, 11 of which can be collected throughout the year. All badges are made in the UK from recycled yoghurt-pot material.  

In primary schools, WOW sees walking rates increase on average by 23 per cent and is met with a corresponding drop in car use.   

Walking to school is an easy and accessible way for children to move more, whilst also helping to reduce congestion and air pollution around the school gates. Despite the benefits, just 42 per cent of primary school aged children in Wales walk to school.   

At the same time, just 63 per cent of boys and 45 per cent of girls in Wales are active for at least 60 minutes a day, five times a week – the time recommended for them to stay fit and maintain a healthy weight.   

Rhiannon Hardiman, Wales Manager, Living Streets said:   

“Walking to school is an easy way for children to fit more activity into their day. More children walking to school means fewer cars around the school gates - making them safer and cleaner places.  

“WOW – our year-round walk to school challenge has increased walk to school rates in over 2,000 schools across the UK.   

“It’s simple to run and pupils love to take part. Just a few minutes of a teacher’s day is needed to make a big difference. We can’t wait to help more pupils and schools across Wales walk to school.” 

Schemes such as this are a step in the right direction in improving the health of our nation, improving air quality and reducing the number of cars on our roads. I am pleased to see the initiative spreading into Wales and encourage more schools to contact Living Streets and sign up.

Lee Waters, Deputy Minister for Economy and Transport

Caro Wild, Cabinet Member for Transport in Cardiff said:  

“I’m thrilled that Living Streets is launching their WOW walking challenge across Wales. It will be great to see children benefiting from walking to school in Cardiff and beyond.” 

To find out more about WOW, visit www.livingstreets.org.uk/walktoschool or call Sarah on 020 7456 9793.

Media requests: kathryn.shaw@livingstreets.org.uk

Huw Thomas and Lee Waters at launch
Strider and children