More than 420 parents and guardians have signed up for the city council’s ‘Park and Stride’ scheme to encourage people to exercise on the daily school run.
Park and Stride’ means leaving the car about 10 minutes’ walk from the school gate, and making the last leg of the journey to school on foot.
Parking is the key challenge in that equation, so over 20 car parks in Galway City have signed up to provide free parking to people taking their kids to school.
The scheme was launched by Mayor of Galway Mike Cubbard as part of the European Mobility Week 2020.
Research shows that children who are active on the commute have higher levels of concentration in the classroom, with Park and Stride one of the measures recommended by the HSE for the return to school.
Galway City Council is working in partnership with An Taisce Green-Schools, local businesses, organisations, and schools in the city, as part of this scheme.
“It’s fantastic to see over 420 children and parents in Galway fitting a walk into their journey to school, whether younger children doing Park and Stride, or older children doing ‘Drop and Hop’,” said Mayor Cubbard.
“Regular physical activity is important from an early age to promote good physical and mental health.”
He added that additional schools and car parks not already signed up are welcome to get involved in the exercise scheme.
Parents and Guardians can check the list of participating car parks and schools, and register through their school, or online at www.galwaycity.ie/ParkandStride . Note that if your school is not listed, you are still welcome to participate.
On top of the health gains for young people, the scheme also has multiple other knock on benefits.
Less traffic outside the school gate means less interaction with cars for young children trying to cross roads; less fumes and pollution from cars idling; and access for those who really need to park near the school gate for mobility or health reasons.
“Many thanks to the parents, schools, businesses and organisations supporting Park and Stride,” Mike Cubbard said.