STUDENTS at Tootgarook Primary School are keen to participate in National Ride2School Day, Friday 19 March.
They are among about 350,000 students taking part in Australia’s biggest bike riding party and the peak of the Ride2School program which helps children get their 60 minutes of daily exercise by riding a bike to school.
“National Ride2School Day is a fun way for students and parents to experience the joy of riding a bike,” Bicycle Network’s Anthea Hargreaves said. “There’s no better time to make riding to school part of your routine.
“It’s free and fun and can also help students perform better in the classroom. Studies have shown students who ride arrive at school energised, alert and more ready to learn.”
Participation numbers in 2021 could receive a boost from the increased interest in bike riding, with a VicHealth survey finding more than one-in-four Victorian households with kids did more walking or bike riding during coronavirus than they did in January and February this year.
National Ride2School Day is a free event open to all primary and secondary schools in Australia. Schools that register for the day receive a resources pack, including posters, promotional material, stickers and a count sheet to tally the number of students who ride to school.
“National Ride2School Day is a great introduction to the wider program and can be the catalyst to creating a school of healthy, active students,” Ms Hargreaves said.
Students won’t just be doing it for themselves, with many schools also fundraising for World Bicycle Relief to send specially designed Buffalo Bicycles to villages in Africa.
Buffalo Bicycles give children in developing countries a way of getting to school safely and quickly. Without access to bikes many children miss out on an education or can be put in risky situations by riding to school.
National Ride2School Day has been running nationally since 2006. Registrations are open at ride2school.com.au