Infrastructure Minister Chris Hazzard and Health Minister Michelle O’Neill today reminded all primary schools across the North that applications to join the Active School Travel Programme should be returned by 30 September 2016.
Schools can apply to be included in the programme which provides a range of activities encouraging children to be more active on the journey to school. The programme aims to improve children’s health and confidence, reduce congestion around schools and develop road safety skills and awareness.
Infrastructure Minister Hazzard said:
“As the closing date approaches for Active School Travel Programme applications, I want to remind schools to consider applying. Schools play a hugely important part in helping our children develop good habits for life. I hope that many schools will use the Active School Travel Programme to help their pupils develop active travel habits, helping them to lead long, healthy and active lives.”
Health Minister Michelle O’Neill added:
“This is a project that can play a vital role in helping our children and young people to engage in regular activity, which goes some way to meeting the Chief Medical Officers Physical Activity Guidelines of at least 60 minutes of moderate activity every day. This level of activity at a young age helps to build a lifetime habit which can help combat societal issues such as being overweight and obese. Active children encourage active families. I would encourage schools to get their applications in and get active.”
If you would like your school to join the Active School Travel Programme, please download the application form and supporting materials on the Sustrans website.
Alternatively, you can request the application pack by emailing schoolsNI@sustrans.org.uk or telephoning 028 9043 4569.
Notes to editors:
- The Department for Infrastructure is providing £1.125 million funding for the programme and the Department for Health through the Public Health Agency is also providing £1.125 million funding.
- Sustrans has been awarded the contract to deliver the programme for the next five years which is jointly funded by the Department for Infrastructure and the Public Health Agency (PHA.)
- The Programme began in 2013 and since then 191 schools have enrolled with more than 60,000 children taking part. This has resulted in an increase in cycling and walking for the school commute and a reduction in car congestion around participating schools.
- All primary schools have been notified on the continuation of the programme and those schools not part of the programme were invited to submit applications during August and September of this year.
- Media queries should be directed to the Department for Infrastructure Press Office on 028 9054 0007. Out of office hours please contact the duty press officer via pager number 076 9971 5440 and your call will be returned.
- Follow the Department on Twitter @deptinfra
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