Helena Spearing (left), Ruby Greer, Isla Ross and Dashel Scott like walking and biking to school, an activity being promoted through the Way2Go! campaign. Nicole Crescenzi/VICTORIA NEWS

Way2Go! campaign launched to encourage kids to walk, bike to school

Less than 25 per cent of Canadian students use active transportation to commute

This story has been updated

Across Canada, less than 25 per cent of students use active transportation to get to school, but Island Health, the University of Victoria and the Capital Regional District are trying to change that.

This spring they’ve launched the Way2Go! campaign that encourages children and parents to use people-powered measures to get to school. This includes walking, biking, public transportation and drive-to-five options, which allow parents to park their cars nearby and walk the rest of the way.

“In Victoria we’re trying to encourage it as much as possible,” said UVic researcher Claire Sauvage-mar. “We want to get more and more students to use the great resources Victoria has, like bike paths and drive-to-five locations.”

The campaign is all about getting kids comfortable in their environments and making the idea of active transportation more popular, she added.

“The majority of children are not getting as much physical activity as they should,” said Dr. Dee Hoyano, medical health officer for Island Health. “We know there’s a lot of benefits for the physical health, mental health and school performance.”

Rauchene Spearing is a mother of two young children, ages six and eight, and she walks with them to school every morning. “It’s just a great way to start the day and get active and get some fresh air,” she said. “My girls just love it. They’re happy to walk, much happier to be outside than in a car.”

Taryn Scott uses the drive-to-five option and parks near Pemberton Park before walking to Margaret Jenkins Elementary School. “We are avoiding the crazy traffic around the school and getting some exercise,” she said. “The kids love it because we get to meet up with friends we wouldn’t see otherwise.”

Grade 2 student Isla Ross has always biked or walked to school. As a bit of an expert, she notices the benefits and really likes the commute. “I like it because I like the fresh air.”

Way2Go! has a contest on now through May 17 to see who is using active transportation the most. Participants are encouraged to share their experiences using “#way2go,” or they can make posters if they don’t want to participate online. For more details, visit http://way2go.islandhealth.ca/

nicole.crescenzi@vicnews.com

Just Posted

Homeless campers of Namegans Nation head to Oak Bay

Roughly 30 members of roving tent city settle at Cattle Point in Uplands Wednesday

B.C. moves ahead with speculation tax despite mayors calling for changes

Oak Bay mayor says he was hoping for a different outcome

Legalization at the legislature: Victoria celebrates with free cannabis

Longtime cannabis activist Dana Larsen hands out free joints, seeds, plants

UPDATE: Pat Bay Highway traffic moving again after motorcyclist rear-ended

Three vehicle collision stalled traffic in southbound lane Wednesday shortly before 4 p.m.

Oak Bay’s wolf of Discovery Island ‘alive and healthy’

Park remains open to the public; domestic animals prohibited

Watch: Saanich responds to mock emergency for ammonia Leak

Hazmat suits, emergency centre respond to mock ammonia leak

Find your future at Black Press career fair in Victoria

More than 70 booths expected at Bay Street Armoury on Oct. 25

POLL: Do you support amalgamation for communities in the Capital Region?

Residents in Victoria and Saanich will be voting on Oct. 20 on… Continue reading

Jagmeet Singh says marijuana pardons are not enough

Trudeau government will streamline pardon process for Canadians convicted of simple possession of marijuana in the past

VIDEO: Courtenay marks legalization by passing out free joints

Leaf Compassion celebrates new marijuana law in Courtenay

Caregivers banned from smoking, growing cannabis around children-in-care: MCFD

Ministry has limited cannabis use for caregivers, stating it may “pose a risk to children and youth.”

Jusu adds hemp extract to the menu in Greater Victoria

Food and beverage product to be enhanced with hemp extract

Cheaper strains sell out within minutes on online BC Cannabis Store

Province says new strains will become available in the coming months

Most Read