Walk to school with Hi-5
By Luke Layfield
KIDS' TV stars Hi-5 have encouraged students to get active and save the environment by taking part in Walk Safely to School Day.
Charli, Kellie, Tim, Nathan and Sun yesterday thrilled Willoughby Public School students urging them to kick-start the day with a healthy walk as part of tomorrow's nationwide fitness scheme.
The scheme is also aimed at parents, to reduce traffic congestion near schools, creating a pedestrian-safe environment at the school gate – as well as potentially saving 125,000 tonnes of greenhouse gases a year in NSW alone.
Children from 8000 primary schools around Australia will take part in the eighth annual walk developed by the Pedestrian Council of Australia.
The walkers will be met at school with a healthy breakfast designed by leading nutritionist Dr Rosemary Stanton.
Event organiser and Pedestrian Council chairman Harold Scruby said: "Parents in New South Wales could save around 125,000 tonnes of greenhouse gases each year if they parked the car just half a kilometre from school and walked the rest of the way.
"They'd be helping the environment and helping their children learn healthy exercise habits from an early age.
"Twenty two per cent of our kids are overweight or obese and that number is rising everyday. It's easy to get involved in Walk Safely to School Day and will give kids the chance to avoid becoming part of that statistic."
Hi-5's Nathan said: "Walking to school each day is a great way to keep healthy – what a great way to kick-start the day and feel awake and bright before school.
"Leaving the car at home is also great for the environment, helping to keep the air clean."
Charli added: "Walking to school with a grown-up is fun because you get to explore nature and your neighbourhood. Once you find out how fun it is to walk, you might want to do it every day."
Tim, who highlighted the importance of road safety, said: "If you're under 10 you should always hold a grown-up's hand when crossing the road."
Hi-5 fan Cameron Ogilvie, 6, was delighted to walk with his TV idols. He said: "I saw them on the tv this morning, they're great. I'm going to walk to school all the time now."