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Heart Foundation welcomes funding boost to get Perth families moving
heartfoundation.org.au|Helpline 13 11 12

Heart Foundation welcomes funding boost to get Perth families moving

Media Release - 4 August 2020

The Heart Foundation has welcomed a boost in government funding to encourage Perth families to get out of the car and be more active in their travel to and from school.

Transport Minister Rita Saffioti today announced record high funding of $115,000 will be available to West Australian schools in 2020-21 for Connecting Schools grants.

Schools registered in the Department of Transport’s Your Move program will be eligible to apply for grants of up to $15,000.

The money can be used to upgrade bike and scooter parking; install bike repair stations, wayfinding signage and bike tracks; and run bike skills and road safety education workshops.

“The Heart Foundation welcomes today’s funding announcement, which will encourage Perth families to seek out more active ways to get to and from school instead of just reaching for the car keys every day,” said Heart Foundation CEO WA, Sarah Fordham.

“The grants will help Perth school kids and their parents to be more heart-healthy, while also beating traffic congestion and contributing to safer and more sustainable communities.

“During the COVID-19 pandemic, many West Australian families discovered or even rediscovered simple forms of exercise such as cycling and walking. These grants will help keep that momentum going by encouraging kids to walk, cycle or scoot to and from school.”

The Heart Foundation’s Director of Active Living, Adjunct Professor Trevor Shilton, said only one in five Australian children meet National Physical Activity Guidelines, which recommend that kids get an hour per day.

“That statistic could be improved if more children walked, cycled or scooted to school. However, the trend is towards the opposite, with more and more parents choosing to drive – and often only short distances.

“National data show that over the past 40 years, walking and cycling to school has declined from 75% to 25%, making Australian school kids among the most chauffeured in the world. In Perth, the rate is as low as 20%, and half of all children travel to school by car despite living less than one kilometre away.

“Physical activity is important for children’s physical and mental health, as well as their social and intellectual development. And the great thing about these grants is that parents and caregivers will benefit, too – as they join their kids on a more active trip to school.

“The Heart Foundation commends the West Australian government on this funding boost. The more we can help communities get moving, the healthier we will all be.”

Media enquiries

Siobhan McMahon, Media Manager, Physical Activity
M: 0478 313 656 E: Siobhan.mcmahon@heartfoundation.org.au

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