Walking for world record

By Leah Kellar
The Daily Graphic
Thursday October 04, 2007

David Waldner, 7, left, primary teacher Kara Zwarich, Nichol Waldner, 6, and Colin Waldner, 9 from Ingleside School participate in a kilometre-long walk to break a world record for the most people walking the distance at the same time yesterday.
Staff photo by Leah Kellar

Students in Portage la Prairie School Division laced up their shoes and headed out on a one-kilometre walk to set a record yesterday.
“It’s really good to see students involved in something that’s global, and I think they can applaud themselves on their efforts to make an impact in our world,” said Charles Morrison, chairman of Portage la Prairie School Division’s board of trustees, who walked a kilometre yesterday with students from Ingleside School at Grand Hutterite Colony, eight kilometres south of Oakville.
La Verendrye School and Westpark School in Portage, Ingleside School and several other colony schools including Brantwood, Norquay, Sommerfeld and Brennen, participated in the World Record Walk, a national attempt to break the Guinness World Record for the largest amount of people walking one kilometre at the same time. Canada hopes to break the current record held by Australia with 100,915 participants in September 2006.
“It was fun, and I hope we get the record now,” said Lyndon Stahl, 10, one of 21 students to walk a kilometre from Ingleside School.
“This was a great opportunity to promote healthy lifestyle practices that we couldn’t pass up,” said Ingleside principal Betty-Jean Checkley.
Over the last three years, the school has encouraged physical activity by participating in the Manitoba In Motion initiative. The initiative encourages schools to promote healthy, active lifestyles.

“We’ve been able to access materials and grant money for physical activities through In Motion. This is another way that we can encourage kids to get active,” said Checkley.
Approximately 370 students and 50 staff from La Verendrye School participated in the walk.
The results of the World Record Walk will be released by Resource Conservation Manitoba after Oct. 12.
“There’s been a lot of talk about increasing the activity of kids within the province. We’re a part of the In Motion activities and this was just one more event we could accommodate to add more activity to the day,” said Chuck Naish, principal of La Verendrye School.
La Verendrye’s participation in the record-breaking walk was proposed by physical education teacher Mark Sokolowski, who mapped out three different one-kilometre routes for students and staff.
“Kids seemed to take their time with it and enjoy it. We really were fortunate to have such nice weather,” said Naish.
Westpark School saw 260 participants in the event including many parents. Administrative assistant to the principal Gayle Loewen said the event fit in nicely with National Walk to School Month and other physical fitness initiatives taking place in the school.
The World Record Walk was hosted in the province by Manitoba In Motion and Resource Conservation Manitoba. The invitation was open to all schools, communities, workplaces and trail organizations across Canada.
Checkley said many of the students at Ingleside Colony School are excited about the supplies they receive annually from Manitoba In Motion from skipping ropes to soccer balls and often take them home. She also noted children in rural areas don’t spend as much time walking as they used to since all-terrain vehicles are easily accessible.