Families across the Central Coast are being encouraged to take part in Australia’s biggest celebration of active travel on Friday 19 March.

National Ride2School Day aims to help students, teachers and parents discover the joys of riding and kick-start healthy habits for the future.

Organised by charity the Bicycle Network, more than 350,000 students across Australia are expected to participate by either riding, walking, scootering or skating to school.

Nina Kingon, Health Promotion Officer at Central Coast Local Health District, said taking part in the day can have a number of health benefits for children.

“National Ride2School Day is a really simple way for children to contribute to their recommended minimum 60 minutes of physically activity per day,” Ms Kingon said.

“Travelling actively also improves their concentration and ability to learn, so it is good for both their physical and cognitive development. It can also help them make friends, improve their confidence and independence, as well as become more connected to the world around them.

“That’s why it’s important, even if you can only go part of the way, that students on the Central Coast, as well as their parents, try to travel actively when they can.”

Last year’s National Ride2School Day saw students across Australia save 27 tonnes of carbon dioxide by actively travelling to school – the equivalent of planting 187 trees.

This year, Ms Kingon hopes the date will help both students and parents discover or reacquaint themselves with the benefits of going active on their travels.

“For the large number of parents who have taken up cycling during the pandemic, and particularly for the many still working at home, National Ride2School Day is a great opportunity for them to keep up the healthy habits by walking or riding with their kids to school.

“As well as being good for our physical and mental health, it’s a much cheaper, greener and, for short trips, often quicker way to get around.”

For more information on National Ride2School Day, and for other ways to take part, visit www.bicyclenetwork.com.au/ride2school-day.