Walk to School Week

Kennedy launches International Walk to School Month Transport Minister Danny Kennedy is urging students in Northern Ireland to take part in International Walk to School Month 2011, this October. Millions of young walkers from over 40 countries across the world will be taking part in global events and enjoying the benefits of walking. The Minister marked the launch of Walk to School Month 2011 at a special ceremony at St Mary’s on the Hill Primary School, Glengormley and said:”International Walk to School Month is designed to give children, parents and school teachers an opportunity to be part of a global event that celebrates the many benefits of walking. I would urge all schools here to take to their feet during October to experience first-hand the benefits of walking. “This initiative is designed to inspire and drive change in travel habits from a young age. It’s a flexible initiative, meaning schools can decide how much or how little they do to get involved. It can be a sustained effort throughout the month, a special walking week or even just a walk to school day – every effort counts in the pursuit of a more ‘walkable’ world.” International Walk to School Month is organised by the Department for Regional Development’s TravelwiseNI team. During today’s event students were also praised for their commitment to other Travelwise NI’s walking initiatives, namely Walk to School Week 2011 which this year took place in May. Danny Kennedy said: “I want to congratulate pupils, parents and teachers from St Mary’s on the Hill for their great efforts, enthusiasm and commitment to the Walk to School Week initiative, held by my Department’s Travelwise team, earlier this year. 159 pupils with their parents walked to school totalling a walking distance of over one million metres! “Pupils at St Mary’s, who are the winners of Walk to School 2011, showed an excellent understanding of the role sustainable travel can play in promoting good health and wellbeing while protecting the environment for future generations. ” International Walk to School Month 2011 will be taking place during the month of October. Schools can register to participate at: Photographed with the Minister are Peter Smith, 4 and Molly Garvin, 6. Photo M T Hurson/Harrisons

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