September 19, 2002

Walk to school on October 2nd

NEWMARKET - York Regional Council today recognized October 2, 2002 as the third International Walk to School Day (IWALK) in York Region. IWALK is an annual event designed to address the issues of physical activity, safer communities and environmental health.

"Last year, over 25,000 students and their caregivers from 54 York Region schools left their vehicles at home and participated in International Walk to School Day," said Bill Fisch, Regional Chair and CEO. "As a Region we are committed to encouraging residents of all ages to consider alternative transportation methods. This program is an excellent example of this concept in action."

"This is also about healthy lifestyle choices," added Dr. Helena Jaczek, Commissioner of York Region Health Services and Medical Officer of Health. "This event offers the perfect opportunity to work in partnership with the school community to offer creative ways to fit physical activity into every child's school day."

On Wednesday, October 2nd, students across York Region will join millions of children in 26 nations around the globe as they walk, bicycle, roller-blade, scooter, skip or hop to school rather than drive. International Walk to School Day participants include Australia, Brazil, Cyprus, Great Britain, Ireland, New Zealand, United States, Spain, India, France, Denmark and Italy.

To date, 61 York Region schools have registered to participate. Schools that register receive an IWALK Activity Package, including in-class games and activities for every grade level. Activities are linked to the Ontario Curriculum and are based on this year's IWALK theme: Children's Health and Walking.

The IWALK program is part of the Region's Active Kids and Safe Routes to School Program which addresses concerns about the health of our children and climate change issues.

(Canadian Climate Change Centre, 1993)

In York Region, the IWALK event is supported by the following partners: The Regional Municipality of York, York Regional Police Services, York Region District School Board, York Catholic District School Board, students, parents, caregivers,, York Region Heart Health Program, Greenest City and physical activity professionals.

For more information on how to get your school involved in International Walk to School Day contact York Region Health Services Health Connection at 1-800-361-5653. For IWALK event details, visit and


Specific York Region schools will be designated as media schools.

A complete list of participating schools and designated media schools will be distributed with a Media Advisory on September 30, 2002.


Contact: Kim Clark, York Region Health Services

The Regional Municipality of York is committed to providing cost-effective, quality services that respond to the needs of our rapidly growing communities.  York Region is comprised of the following nine area municipalities:  Aurora, East Gwillimbury, Georgina, King, Markham, Newmarket, Richmond Hill, Vaughan and Whitchurch-Stouffville.  For more information, visit our Web site at:

Contact: Patrick Casey, Senior Media Relations Specialist, York Region

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