Kearsley walkathon raises funds for Abernethy bike bridge

ACTIVE: The Pied Piper of Kearsley joined local children and families at the walkathon.
ACTIVE: The Pied Piper of Kearsley joined local children and families at the walkathon.

Abernethy Healthy Lifestyle Association (AHLA) held a “laps for gaps” walkathon at Kearsley Public School on June 26 to raise money for a bike bridge over Deep Creek, Abernethy.

The walkathon was held in association with Kearsley Public School P&C and Kearsley Cougars Soccer Club, with 136 students, parents, younger siblings, grandparents and teachers taking part.

Walkers could be sponsored for each lap.

AHLA president Julianne Cripps Clark said the walkathon not only provided funds for the bridge project, but helped the kids get active too: “to raise the fitness as well as the money”.

“There is a lot more focus on fitness and gross as well as fine motor skills in school these days in an effort to help kids become more physically confident, since this demonstrably enhances the quality of learning,” she said.

Walkers were allowed to complete a maximum of 10 laps around the school grounds and upon finishing received a rainbow beaded ‘get active’ tag, to match the popular loom bands and to remind them over these school holidays that being outdoors is fun and healthy.

Ms. Cripps Clark said most of the participants managed the 10 laps quite easily, and saw a lot of smiles and happiness on the day.

AHLA social director Christina Batey said the kids thoroughly enjoyed themselves.

“They were all keen, all enthused about the concept,” she said.

There was a sausage sizzle and jumping castle for the participants after they finished, and the Pied Piper of Kearsley even made an appearance with her bagpipes.

Prizes were awarded to individuals and families for their fundraising and participation efforts, donated by Cessnock City Council, Bike Trax, Sportspower, Bunnings Warehouse, the Heart Foundation and Bent Logic.

Money raised from the walkathon is still coming in, with costs and profit shares still being allocated between AHLA, Kearsley Public School and Kearsley Cougars Soccer Club but Ms. Cripps Clark said she is fairly confident the association is $500 closer to the $45,000 target to build the bridge.

She hopes that once school goes back and all the children bring in their sponsorship, they may be even closer.

For more information on the AHLA and the bike bridge project, visit http://abern­