Newcastle Herald

Parents ride to school with kids

Date: 15/03/2011
Words: 193
Source: NCH
          Publication: Newcastle Herald
Section: News
Page: 18
HUNTER parents will put down keys and pick up handlebars as they cycle with their kids tomorrow on national ride to school day.

Member for Paterson Bob Baldwin said riding to school was a fun way to get the recommended minimum one hour of physical activity each day to help prevent type 2 diabetes and obesity. But the number of children riding to school had plummeted in the past 30 years.

Mr Baldwin said studies showed 80 per cent of students walked or rode to school in the 1970s. That number had fallen to 20 per cent even though most students live within two kilometres of their school.

Maitland Newcastle Catholic Schools education officer Helene O'Neill said that the more children rode the safer the activity would become and parents would have more confidence letting them ride to school.

She said school bike safety programs educated students to use hand signals and give them confidence to pass pedestrians.

St Joseph's Merewether year 4 student Priya Gibson said she rode to school twice a week with her dad and brother.

"[Riding my bike] keeps me fit and healthy and it's a quick way to get to school," she said.

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