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South Yorkshire’s Mayor announces Walk and Wheel challenge for schools


Published 21 May 2024 at 1:09pm

South Yorkshire’s Mayor Oliver Coppard has announced a new Walk and Wheel Challenge for all schools in the region.

The challenge, held between the 17th and 28th of June, encourages every primary school child in South Yorkshire to walk, wheel or cycle to school each day, to become more active and healthier.

The Mayor, alongside triple Olympic Champion and Active Travel Commissioner for South Yorkshire, Ed Clancy OBE, announced the new challenge as he walked with children to their school at Joseph Locke Primary School in Barnsley on Monday 20 May.

They joined pupils at the school as part of Walk to School week, organised by Living Streets, to take part in a walk to school with them and an assembly to announce the new challenge.

The challenge forms part of the Mayor’s key manifesto commitment to make South Yorkshire the best place in the country to walk, wheel and cycle for our children, with an ambitious plan for active travel centered around schools.

South Yorkshire’s Mayor Oliver Coppard said: “We need to make sure that everyone in South Yorkshire has freedom and choice about how to travel and move, every day. That’s important at every age and stage of life, but nowhere is it more important than with our kids at school.

“Active travel is central to my vision of a better-connected South Yorkshire, but we simply must create a new generation who see the alternatives to just jumping in the car as an obvious first choice.

“That’s why we’re going to make South Yorkshire the best place in the country for children to walk, wheel and cycle, and why we’re now launching my Mayor’s Walk and Wheel challenge this Walk to School Week.”

The 10-day challenge involves encouraging every primary aged child in the region to choose Active Travel as their way of getting to and from school each day.

South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority is delivering an activity programme to schools for the two weeks of the challenge, so kids learn all about how Active Travel can make the journey to school that bit more fun.

Plus, every participating school will have the chance of winning prizes, including bikes, scooter racks and a VIP session with Ed Clancy.

The challenge announcement also comes during Walk to School Week.

Walk to School week is organised by Living Streets, the UK charity for everyday walking, as part of their National Walking Month campaign each May.

Families are encouraged to walk, wheel, cycle, scoot or ‘Park and Stride’ for the whole week to see the big differences that come from small steps, from healthier and happier children to fewer cars outside the school gates.

Jim Shaw, Project Coordinator (South Yorkshire), Living Streets said: “Getting out of the front door in the morning with kids can be hectic, so it’s no surprise that parents say a lack of time stops them walking to school.

“However, walking the last ten minutes can still provide families with all those health and happiness benefits in the same time that they would have been sitting in traffic. Walk to School Week is the perfect opportunity to give a new routine a try.”

For information about how schools can sign up please visit our Walk and Wheel Challenge page.


Last Updated: 24/05/2024

Published In: Mayor, Active Travel, Featured


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