Active day gets a tick

Headshot of Lisa Favazzo
Lisa FavazzoGeraldton Guardian
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Jake Linn, 8, Autumn Hopkinson, 10, and Hayden Linn, 10, at Geraldton Primary School's Ride to School Day.
Camera IconJake Linn, 8, Autumn Hopkinson, 10, and Hayden Linn, 10, at Geraldton Primary School's Ride to School Day. Credit: Lisa Favazzo/The Geraldton Guardian

Hayden Linn, 10, wants to ride his scooter to school more often because he likes being “more active”.

Last Friday, Geraldton Primary School held Ride to School Day, an event designed to decrease car travel and increase heart rates.

Deputy principal Fiona Angelatos has run a few Ride to School Days but she said last week’s event was important.

Geraldton Primary School Deputy Principal Fiona Angelatos with Ride to School Day Committee Member Vivienne Mclaren, 10.
Camera IconGeraldton Primary School Deputy Principal Fiona Angelatos with Ride to School Day Committee Member Vivienne Mclaren, 10. Credit: Lisa Favazzo/The Geraldton Guardian

Forty-eight per cent of students chose active travel, compared to 21 percent prior to the project's commencement.

“That’s a whopping 166 students who chose active travel on Friday and has completely exceeded our expectations,” Mrs Angelatos said.

“That accounts for at least 80 less cars coming to school, alleviating traffic congestion and doing wonders for student health and the environment.

Amy Towler with her daughters Sophie Rutherford, 7, Lucy Rutherford, 3, and Deborah Rutherford, 5.
Camera IconAmy Towler with her daughters Sophie Rutherford, 7, Lucy Rutherford, 3, and Deborah Rutherford, 5. Credit: Lisa Favazzo/The Geraldton Guardian

“It means we have ‘unlocked’ extra incentives and grants from Department of Transport’s Your Move project.”

Mrs Angelatos said many students lived too far from the campus to use active transport so they tried to encourage them to park down at the foreshore and ride, scoot or walk from there.

“The big winners were the kids emotional, physical and mental health and the environment,” she said.

Traffic Warden Jo Boyde is known affectionately by Geraldton Primary School students as Mrs Poppins.
Camera IconTraffic Warden Jo Boyde is known affectionately by Geraldton Primary School students as Mrs Poppins. Credit: Lisa Favazzo/The Geraldton Guardian, Lisa Favazzo

A few school families recently started to park and ride, with one mum telling the deputy principal it helped her kids “get their sillies out” before class.

While the day was a one-off, Mrs Angelatos hoped it would help the community realise how great active transport was.

Local traffic warden Jo Boyde had no idea it was Ride To School Day on Friday, but she said she had seen a lot more mums than usual walking around the area that day.

Geraldton Primary School students at Ride To School Day 2020.
Camera IconGeraldton Primary School students at Ride To School Day 2020. Credit: The Geraldton Guardian

She said things had changed since her day, and she’d love to see more kids crossing the road by wheel or on foot.

“Kids used to ride horses to school,” she said.

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