Hundreds of Kent youngsters kicked off national summer Walk to School Week by setting a new record on Saturday.
The children and their families paraded through Canterbury city centre as part of the annual mini festival Buster’s Big Bash. They waved home-made green travel flags and banners and sang as they walked creating the longest walking bus to march through a Kent street this year.
The free event was staged by the KM Charity Team to thank families taking part in its green travel and literacy services for schools including Walk on Wednesday, Active Bug, Walking Bus, Green Footsteps and Buster’s Book Club.
Participants enjoyed a range of activities at Dane John Gardens, Canterbury including space hopper races, pedal go-karts, beat the goalie, cricket games and hoopla as well as two successful record attempts.
KM Charity Team trustee Gill Delahunty waved the flag to formally start the record breaking walking bus which boasted 322 people, beating last year’s number by more than 20.
The giant teddy bears’ picnic attracted 201 people making it the largest staged in the county.
The choir from St Mary’s Catholic Primary School, Deal - finalists from last year’s KM Walk to School Song Contest - took to the bandstand to sing Reach for the Stars by S Club 7. They entertained the crowds and encouraged entries for this year’s competition.
The song choirs need to sing for this year’s song contest is Walking on Sunshine by Katrina and the Waves and the deadline to enter is June 3. Click here for more information.
Lord Mayor of Canterbury Ann Taylor and Sheriff of Canterbury Tony Austin and his wife Pauline welcomed the crowds and judged the Best Dressed Teddy competition as well as joining in the fun on the space hoppers.
Build-A-Bear mascot Bearemy made a guest appearance as did Buster Bug himself.
Event host Simon Dolby of the KM Charity Team announced the winners of the day’s competitions. The Best Flag contest was won by Georgie, 10, of Hersden Primary School, Canterbury and Lucas, three, of Great Chart Primary School in Ashford. Lucky Lucas also won the Best Dressed Teddy competition along with Frankie Moriarty, 10, from Sturry Primary School for a Build-A-Bear teddy prize.
The Lucky Programme winners were Yuqi Zhang, 11, of St John’s Primary School, Canterbury, and Poppy Trice, eight, of Beaver Green Primary School, Ashford who took home Corgi Toys play sets.
Amarni Ricketts won the YMS Travel quiz hosted by Mabel the classic Routemaster big red bus. Youngsters were invited to explore the iconic motor to locate the answers to the quiz for the chance to win a London theatre prize worth £180 donated by Theatre Trips Kent.
The event was supported by Kent County Council, Medway Council, Ashford Borough Council, Canterbury City Council, Maidstone Borough Council, Thanet District Council, Orbit South, Golding Vision (part of Golding Homes), Westwood Cross, Southern Water, Countrystyle, Eurostar, Specsavers, Whitefriars shopping area, Leeds Castle, Three R’s Teacher Recruitment, Chaucer Foundation, Independent Music Productions, McDonald’s and Mini Babybel.
To enquire about sponsoring the walk to school campaign call Simon Dolby on 07989 164 752. Primary schools wanting to join the campaign should visit www.kmwalktoschool.co.uk and or click on the links for Walk on Wednesday (WOW) or Active Bug.