Few things beat the colour and excitement of seeing kids with ear-to-ear smiles, wind in their hair, enjoying the fun, freedom and independence of riding to school.
We saw this in spades on National Ride2School Day last Friday as more than 350,000 students from 900+ schools ditched the car to ride, skate, scoot or walk to school with their parents and friends.
While the day is a great way to celebrate, support and pique the interest of those students, parents and schools who are considering active travel for the first time, it’s so much more than a day.
Bicycle Network’s Ride2School program works with school communities and governments throughout the year to enable, empower and encourage students to actively travel in their local streets.
At Bicycle Network, we think bike riding is a rite of passage: it’s just something you do as a kid, no matter your background. Plus, the benefits are clear - more happy, healthy, independent children and streets that people want to live, walk and play on.
So how do we keep the momentum of National Ride2School Day going? How do we foster an environment in our normal day-to-day that supports and fosters healthy, physically active habits for our young people?
Whether you work at a school, have school-age children or just want to see happy healthy communities, we all have a role to play.
Ride2School has a myriad of resources (see below) for parents, schools and students to help keep children engaged in bike riding and ultimately embed active travel as part of a normal day.
For schools, teachers and local government decision makers:
We’ve put together an easy, step-by-step guide to embedding active travel in your school community. Don’t forget to reach out to the Ride2School team and register with the program – we’ve got your back and are here to help schools in any way we can.
If your child has a newfound enthusiasm for riding, walking, skating or scooting to school post Ride2School Day – we’ve pulled together a list of helpful resources, videos and ideas to support parents in keeping that enthusiasm going.
- Check out Ride2School's Parent Place
- Tips and tricks to support your child to get active through bike riding
- Jump on to Facebook and follow Ride2School for more inspiration.
For people who are passionate about liveable communities:
Bicycle Network's Ride2School program is supported by the Victorian Government and Tasmanian Government. We'd love to see this funding extended.
Our Ride2School program succeeds because our behaviour change methodology is proven to increase active travel in school communities.
We are also recommending the Australian Government invest in a national Ride2School program, which can lead the way in promoting active school travel across the country and increase accessibility to the program.
Not only will young Australians lead happier and healthy lives, their active travel behaviours will also allow them to fully engage during school time and make the most of their education experience.
If you want to see the Ride2School program continue and even expand, write to your local members (both state and federal) and councils and show your support for the program.