March campaign gets pupils moving

By nathan.crombie@age.co.nz -
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RIDING ON: Jack the Kaka from Wairarapa Road Safety Council and council co-ordinator Holly McGeorge with St Patrick's School pupil Evie Hawkins, who was presented with a new bike at her school assembly yesterday. Evie won it as part of a road safety awareness campaign partnered by the Greater Wellington Regional Council and involving 10 Wairarapa schools. PHOTO/NATHAN CROMBIE
RIDING ON: Jack the Kaka from Wairarapa Road Safety Council and council co-ordinator Holly McGeorge with St Patrick's School pupil Evie Hawkins, who was presented with a new bike at her school assembly yesterday. Evie won it as part of a road safety awareness campaign partnered by the Greater Wellington Regional Council and involving 10 Wairarapa schools. PHOTO/NATHAN CROMBIE

A St Patrick's School pupil in Masterton yesterday rode away on a brand-new bicycle after winning a greater Wellington Walk or Wheel travel campaign involving almost 2000 young students.

Wairarapa Road Safety Council co-ordinator Holly McGeorge and mascot Jack the Kaka presented the bike, helmet and drink bottle at the school assembly yesterday to Evie Hawkins, 7, as part of the Movin' March celebration of pupils travelling to school by foot, bike or scooter.

Ms McGeorge said the over-all campaign this month was run in association with the sustainable transport team at Greater Wellington Regional Council and involved 60 schools in the wider region and 1963 students as part of the School Travel and Pedal Ready programme.

There were two bicycles won during the campaign with one going to the Masterton schoolgirl and another to a pupil at Karori West Normal School. St Anthony's School in Seatoun also took a bike rack for the most student entries in the campaign.

Ms McGeorge said Movin' March was "an active month for our schools as pupils were encouraged to travel to school by bike, scooter or walking". Ten Wairarapa schools took part in the awareness campaign.

Schools that registered in the campaign received a prize pack including Walk or Wheel passports for pupils and Jack the Kaka stickers.

Forsaking a car ride to classes was encouraged by participating schools, and drop-off points were established that allowed a degree of travel for pupils.

Each pupil with a passport received a stamp for every day he or she walked, rode or scootered to school and, once the passport was full, pupils were entered into a draw for the bicycle prize pack.

Ms McGeorge said about 170 parents had completed a Movin' March survey, with 35 per cent saying their children had started walking or wheeling to school during the month instead of travelling by car, and another 12 per cent discussing the possibility for the future when their children were older.

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