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Walk to school once a week

Education / Sport and physical activity
Living Streets Scotland and the Scottish Government have launched Walk once a Week (WoW Scotland) to get pupils and parents ‘Fit in '14’.

The initiative, designed to encourage families to improve their health and fitness levels by walking to school, will run in over 50 schools across Scotland during the summer term, supporting the nationwide workforce Fit in 14 campaign. Funded by the Scottish Government and Paths for All, pilots have shown WoW Scotland to increase walking levels and cut traffic congestion around schools.

Walking to school is an easy way to build some physical activity into a child’s day, says the charity, and teaches them vital road safety skills. Teachers report pupils being more alert and ready to learn in the classroom.

Shona Robison launching Walk once a Week at Dunipace Primary School Minister for Sport and Commonwealth Games Shona Robison said:

“There is no better time to launch the Walk once a Week initiative as we are currently in the midst of Physical Activity Awareness Week, which is providing encouragement to people across the whole of Scotland to be more active in 2014.

“Doing some form of physical activity every day can make a massive difference to a person’s health and fitness – and for children and parents, walking to school instead of getting in the car, is one of the easiest ways to do it.

“WoW is just one of the initiatives we are supporting to create a lasting legacy of a healthy, active nation in the build-up to, and after, the XX Commonwealth Games in Glasgow this summer.”

Keith Irving, Head of Living Streets Scotland said:

“Walking to school is a brilliant way to get physical activity and fresh air into your day. When children are bundled from front door to car door, they miss out on the opportunity to socialise with friends, get to know their community and burn off some energy.

“WoW Scotland gets pupils active and can help schools and councils tackle the problems of congestion and pollution associated with high traffic levels during the school run. Pupils are back to school, the weather may be better and the excitement will definitely build over the Commonwealth Games so we have a great opportunity to encourage children and their parents to get Fit in 14 and create a healthy, lifelong legacy for the nation.”

Robina McAnish, Headteacher of Dunipace Primary School, launching WoW Scotland in her school said:

“We welcome the opportunity to participate in WOW Scotland this year. In Dunipace Primary WOW is for everyone, and that is pretty wow for healthy lifestyles.
“The tracker database will provide useful information for analysis and a real context for mathematics, and the monthly target badges will be incentives which the children will be keen to collect.

“WOW also complements our other initiatives to promote children's involvement in physical activity and sporting disciplines within the Health and Wellbeing curriculum. This term we will also be engaging in 'Going for Glasgow' celebrating the Commonwealth Games and providing a range of Commonwealth sporting experiences and taster sessions for our children.”

WoW Scotland