Island youngsters complete the Active Travel Challenge

By IW May 16, 2022
Minari Fernando

Hundreds of Island youngsters were getting fit and helping the environment in February by cycling, scooting and walking to and from school.

Children across the Island were asked to keep a record of every day they chose to travel actively.

In total, 810 pupils completed the Active Travel Challenge and nearly 13,000 hours of active travel were recorded over the course of the month. Prizes were available through a prize draw and every child who took part received a water bottle for their hard work.

One of the top prizes was won by Minari Fernando, of Nine Acres Primary School, Newport, who was over the moon with her new mountain bike.

The Isle of Wight Council is keen to encourage more parents and pupils to choose active travel for the school run and other everyday journeys. Earlier in the year, the council partnered with Adrian’s Bike Shop to offer free bike safety checks and services to local children, with a qualified mechanic visiting 20 schools between January and March.

Feedback was wanted to say thank you. The free bike check has given me peace of mind that her bike is as safe as can be for her to ride now.”

Over the summer term there will be opportunities for youngsters to take part in Bikeability cycle proficiency courses and get involved in the build-up to the Tour of Britain cycle race.

Ross Edmunds, the council’s active travel officer for schools, said: “Travelling actively to and from school is a real positive step towards improving children’s physical and mental health.

“In short, regular active travel helps children develop positive habits that are useful now and will be in the future.”

Councillor Jonathan Bacon, cabinet member for the environment, said: “Our fantastic Active Travel schemes aim to get all members of the Island’s community travelling in active ways that are better for their own health and local air quality, as well as reducing congestion.

“Active travel is better for the planet and all the life that it sustains.”