Dr Ronx, the CBBC presenter and emergency doctor, is fronting a campaign encouraging children to walk to school.
WOW is a pupil-led initiative organised by the charity for everyday walking, Living Streets, and sees primary-age children record how they journey to school each day on an interactive travel tracker.
Those who walk, cycle or scoot to school at least once a week for a month are rewarded with a WOW badge.
The campaign is set against the background of a sharp drop in the rate of young children walking to school, falling from to 70% to around half in a single generation.
Dr Ronx, who pronounced themselves “thrilled” with their new role, outlined the importance of trying to reverse the decline.
“With notable increases in air pollution, rising childhood inactivity and post-lockdown poor mental health, encouraging children to be more active and ditching school run drives for more sustainable modes of transport is imperative,” they said.
Dr Ronx on the campaign to swap the school run for a school walk
Living Streets says that, among the hundreds of schools to have adopted the WOW initiative, walking rates have increased by an average of 23%, while the number of cars at the school gates has fallen by 30%.
As part of their ambassadorial role, Dr Ronx met pupils at one of the schools to have taken up the challenge, St Joseph’s Catholic primary school in Dudley.
“I loved meeting the WOW pupils and hearing how much they enjoy the health and happiness benefits they get from being active on the journey to school,” they added.
“I’m looking forward to working with Living Streets to help encourage and enable even more children to walk to school.”
Stephen Edwards, chief executive of Living Streets, is confident that Dr Ronx will be successful in their ambition.
“With their boundless enthusiasm, we are sure that Dr Ronx will help inspire even more children, families and caregivers to give walking to school a go this academic year,” he said.
For more information about WOW, click here.
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