Healthy active transportation and its benefits for children is the focus of an upcoming community presentation in Williams Lake.
Kamloops pediatrician Dr. Trent Smith, who is the lead for pediatrics for Interior Health, will share his insights with a discussion to follow at the Gibraltar Room on Thursday, April 27, 2023, beginning at 5:30 p.m. The event is free.
During the regular meeting Tuesday, April 4, Jane Wellburn and Desiree Casler of the Chilcotin Road Elementary Parent Advisory Council, who are helping support the event appeared as a delegation.
Dr. Smith has been working in Kamloops since 2002, they said, noting his interest in physical education of children dates back to the 1990s when he was in his undergraduate year with a focus on childhood obesity.
Presently he is the medical director for both the pediatric diabetes clinic in Kamloops and for a family based lifestyle intervention program with Interior Health. He also works with students taking the southern medical program in Kamloops.
Wellburn said he has worked with government at the provincial and federal levels.
Members of council were invited to attend and encouraged to share information about the event through their own social networks.
Mayor Surinderpal Rathor thanked Wellburn and Casler for their efforts.
“Active transportation is a key concern to the present council, we are working on it,” he said.
Coun. Joan Flaspohler said parents have fears around children commuting to school, but if there are more children doing it the safer it will be.
Responding, Wellburn said the fears are valid but there are so many ways the community can mitigate those risks.
Coun. Sheila Boehm, said her family skis in the winter and bikes in the summer.
“One of the biggest things for our kids riding bikes to school was where to store them. They had to have the teachers agree to lock them up for them,” Boehm said, adding she is in favour of making Williams Lake a more bike-friendly place.
Chilcotin Road Elementary School has been part of an active transportation program with 10 schools throughout the province, Wellburn said.
They received $10,000 from the province and undertaken several activities including a family survey, a bike rodeo and GoByBike Weeks last May.
“There is lots of excitement when children bring bikes to school,” she said.
Joining the Chilcotin Road PAC in hosting the event are Streets for All Williams Lake and School District 27 board of education and the SD 27 PACs.
With a file from Interior Health