Dick Gross
Dick Gross

Port Phillip students will take to the streets on Friday 22 March as part of National Ride2School Day.

Students are encouraged to forgo a lift from their parents and get to school by bike, scooter, public transport or foot.

Over the past 40 years, the number of children who are physically active every day has dropped significantly. Ride2School Day is a popular annual initiative from the Bicycle Network which encourages students to get physically active on their way to school.

The benefits of regular exercise aren’t just physical: active students make for more engaged learners who are focused and ready to learn.

Mayor Dick Gross, who regularly bike rides, said Ride2School Day is a great opportunity for children to get out on their bikes.

“It is recommended that children do 60 minutes of physical activity each day and riding to school is a fun and healthy way of achieving that target. Port Phillip students will join half a million others around Australia, ditching the car on Friday. We want to see happy, healthy, thriving kids in our City,” Cr Gross said.

Ride2School Day also provides a perfect opportunity for parents and caregivers to talk to their children about road safety.

“We encourage parents to re-familiarise themselves with the road rules and talk to children about road safety. One final look-over of the bike and your kids will be happily pedalling off to school.”

The other benefits of swapping a car ride for active transport include reducing local traffic congestion, parking pressures and emissions.

Every local school involved in Ride2School Day can claim a $200 Active Travel Rebate from Port Phillip Council to put towards their event and one lucky school will win a coffee cart with free barista-made coffee at their school on Ride2School Day.

For more information go to: http://www.portphillip.vic.gov.au/active-travel-schools.htm