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15th annual Movin’March kicks into gear – GWRC

It’s nearly time for whānau across the region to buckle their helmets, tie those laces and get moving for the 15th annual Māehe Manawa Ora Movin’March – an initiative encouraging tamariki in years 0-8 to walk, wheel, or bus to and from school for the month of March.

Last year, 38,000 students from 140 schools took part in the free programme run by Greater Wellington.

Regional councillor Yadana Saw says Movin’March is a fun way for students to be a visible part of their neighbourhoods.

“Every day of Movin’March sees more and more kids choosing to walk, bike, scoot or skate through the school gates – you can’t miss them rolling along the footpath,” Cr Saw says.

“With Movin’March, our tamariki get excited to learn more about the benefits of active travel, and before you know it, a month has flown by and suddenly you’ve created new habits and new ways to connect with your school community.

“It’s a great way for kids to build confidence about where they live and how to get around.”

Greater Wellington travel choice advisor Maddy McVie says Movin’March challenges and classroom activities are designed to help tamariki understand why active travel is a positive choice.

“Movin’March aims to connect the dots between travel, climate change, daily movement and wellbeing,” McVie says.

“Every week, Movin’March resources highlight key benefits of active travel, and use tools like the NZ Transport Agency Waka Kotahi Te Haerenga o Ngā Tamariki tool to anonymously record travel data and spark conversation.

“Parents are also encouraged to join the fun with activities like the Whānau Photo Competition, where photos posted on the Movin’March Facebook page will put them in the draw to win scooters and helmets, or family passes to Zealandia or Staglands.”

For the month of March, students will stamp their ‘Walk or Wheel Passports’ for each trip to or from school. The passports are then entered into a Greater Wellington prize draw at the end of the month to win one of six $400 MYRIDE vouchers.

Registered schools receive posters in English, Māori and Pacific languages, classroom activities and jam-packed prize packs filled with coloured pencils, notebooks and beeswax wraps.

Christine Bulmer, mother of two at Tōtara Park School in Upper Hutt, says everyone gets behind the programme, even the school principal.

“We love that our school makes a big deal out of Movin’March,” says Ms Bulmer.

“Our principal is at the gate every morning stamping passports. He knows everyone’s name and makes it feel like a special ceremony, with a line of eager students waiting patiently for their stamp.”

“It’s the kids’ enthusiasm that leads our family to a healthier lifestyle and celebrate the little changes we make to get moving. My aim this year is to bike to school with the boys before continuing to the train station for my commute to work.”

Movin’March supports Greater Wellington’s goals to reduce transport-generated carbon emissions by 35 percent and achieve a 40 percent increase in active and public transport ‘mode share’ by 2030.

There is still time for schools to register for Movin’March. To register, visit: movinmarch.com

 

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