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Success for Active Schools Aberdeenshire's festive virtual walking challenge

By Kyle Ritchie

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Aberdeenshire pupils and their families helped the area's Active Schools mascot Archie get his letter to Santa Claus in the North Pole in time for Christmas as part of a virtual walking challenge.

Run in December, the Step Into Christmas initiative allowed children of any ability at primary schools across the region to take part by walking outside.

The aim was for all participants to cumulatively walk the 2300-mile distance to the North Pole over 28 days on Archie’s behalf to make sure his letter arrived.

Best friends Alanna Scott and Hollie Siwek with Active Schools mascot, Archie.
Best friends Alanna Scott and Hollie Siwek with Active Schools mascot, Archie.

An Active Schools spokesman said: "Pupils at primary schools across Aberdeenshire were able to carry out some physical activity by walking round the playground or out in their local community and it also allowed and encouraged families to participate in physical activities during the ongoing restrictions.

"Participants from around 20 schools and a number of family groups managed to walk an impressive 11,271 miles over the 28 days, a fantastic achievement well in excess of the target.

"Special mention must go to Strathburn School in Inverurie, with a total of 2041 miles, Portsoy School with 1298 miles and St Fergus School with 1052 miles.

"Smaller schools like Glenbervie, Crathie and Bracoden also took part and managed to achieve some fantastic miles with so few pupils able to take part.

"Feedback shows participants thoroughly enjoyed the challenge, saying it was a welcome boost for mental and physical health during these difficult times."

Sportscotland works in partnership with all 32 local authorities to invest in and support the Active Schools Network.

It consists of more than 400 managers and coordinators dedicated to developing and supporting the delivery of quality sporting opportunities for children and young people.

Active Schools Aberdeenshire, part of Live Life Aberdeenshire, aims to provide more and higher quality opportunities to take part in sport and physical activity before school, during lunchtime and after school, and to develop effective pathways between schools and sports clubs in the local community.

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