Gardeners Road Public School was one of more than 2,000 schools across the country to encourage children to get active for this year’s National Ride2School Day on Friday 17 March.
The Rosebery school hosted a morning of two-wheeled fun with the City of Sydney providing free bells and bike tune-ups for students taking part. NSW Police officers escorted a ride to school from Turruwul Park to show parents and children that riding to school can be safe, fun and easy.
Lord Mayor Clover Moore said Ride2School Day is an opportunity to highlight the benefits of riding for health and wellbeing for the whole family, while also reducing traffic congestion around schools.
“Ride2School Day is all about discovering the fun of riding, walking, scooting or skating to school,” the Lord Mayor said.
“In the 1970s, 80 per cent of children rode or walked to school. Today, that number is just 20 per cent. Riding helps students build confidence and feel more self-sufficient. It also leaves them energised and alert for the day, improving their concentration in class.”
Gardeners Road Public School Principal Erika Ortega Kardasis said Ride2School Day was a great opportunity for parents to encourage their kids to lead healthy and active lifestyles.
“For us at Gardeners Road Public School, Ride2School Day is about showing children and their parents how easy riding to school can be.
“Riding with your children is a great way to show them safe riding behaviours and teach them to watch out for cars entering and exiting driveways.”
Ride2School organisers Bicycle Network said schools registered in the Ride2School program have more than double the national average of students riding or walking to school.
“National Ride2School Day is Australia’s biggest two-wheeled kids party and shows students just how fun and easy it is to ride, walk, skate or scoot to school and get their daily dose of 60 minutes exercise,” said Bicycle Network spokesperson Anthea Hargreaves.
“Sometimes after the summer holidays, bikes can get a bit neglected if they’re left in the shed. But getting ready to roll is as easy as A, B, C – simply make sure there is air in tyres, that the brakes are ok and that the chain is running smoothly.”
A recent University of Sydney study found nearly a quarter of all NSW school children are overweight or obese and that cycling is one of the most effective ways children can stay active.
Public Health Professor Chris Rissel says getting children active early in life was important for their emotional development and physical health.
“Cycling is a pathway towards growing independence for children. It improves balance and strength and can help improve spatial awareness,” Professor Rissel said.
“Having fun while being active is a perfect way for children to maintain a healthy weight.”
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