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The Corporation

Posted: 22/05/09

Staff and students set the pace!

West Nottinghamshire College marked National Walk to School Week (Monday 18 – Friday 22 May) with a host of activities to encourage staff and students to take steps towards a healthier lifestyle.

Rachael Evans, Sport Development Co-ordinator, and Billie-Jo Woodiwiss, Sustainability and Environmental Co-ordinator, put together an exciting programme of events, starting with a ‘Beat the Banana’ treasure hunt and a week-long pedometer challenge to encourage teams of students and staff to clock-up the most steps.

Other activities included a ghost walk around college led by a professional ghost walk guide, and a lunchtime stroll around the surrounding area to get people to stretch their legs and increase their heart rates.

Wednesday was the first ever ‘Walk to West Notts Wednesday’, aimed at getting as many students and staff members to walk to college rather than arrive by bus or car.

Rachael set an impressive example by walking 11 miles from her home in Mapperley, Nottingham, to the College’s Derby Road site – setting off at the frighteningly early time of 4.45am!

She said: “It’s amazing how many people are not up and about at this time!  The walk went really well and seemed to fly by. It was a great feeling as I arrived at college three hours and 24 minutes later. What a great way to start day.

“The walk was enjoyable and it was great to know that many others were joining in. Staff and students walked varying distances from Clipstone, Rainworth and Skegby, while many others including members of the Students Union’ walked from Mansfield Bus Station to Derby Road.

“Many members of staff and students attended the various events and enjoyed meeting new people. While walking to college is not realistic for everyone, if students or staff set a goal of walking once a week, it would make a real difference – not only to their health, but also to the environment.”

Billie-Jo, who has also seen many benefits to the week, is currently looking at reducing the number of car journeys used by staff and students to get to and from the different college sites.

Currently, 75% of staff members use single occupancy cars. Billie-Jo is working on a college travel plan which would aim to cut this to 65% over the next three years.