Northamptonshire steps up to 20 million challenge

Pupils at Rothwell Junior School taking part in the 20 Million Steps challenge
Pupils at Rothwell Junior School taking part in the 20 Million Steps challenge

Youngsters from Rothwell Junior School joined a healthy countywide challenge over the weekend to count up 20 million steps.

Hundreds of pupils and staff took part in a 20-minute walk around their playground, contributing more than 800,000 steps towards the target.

Northamptonshire County Council arranged the 20 Million Steps challenge and asked people all over the county to go for a walk and log the number of steps they took between Friday, September 5, and Sunday, September 7.

The campaign was launched after statistics released earlier this year showed that Northamptonshire was the fifth fattest county in England – with 67.5 per cent of people overweight or obese.

A spokesman for the council said that all the submitted figures had not yet been added up – but that the total had already exceeded 20 million.

County council cabinet member for public health and wellbeing Cllr Robin Brown said: “I’m very pleased that the county has risen to the challenge and achieved an incredible 20 million steps in one weekend.

“I would like to say well done to everyone who took part. We’re still adding up the steps to achieve a final total which I’m confident that everyone will be proud of.

“We don’t want Northamptonshire to be the fifth fattest county, and getting as many people as possible to go for a walk is a great way to start changing this.

“Walking is great for people’s health and wellbeing, plus it’s free, accessible and going for a walk with family or friends is good fun too.

“I hope that many of the people who took part this weekend will see this as the beginning of a positive new habit, and start walking more often. Being more active in this way will go a long way towards improving their own health and wellbeing, and help Northamptonshire to be a happier, healthier county by 2020.”

Bridget Leder, deputy headteacher of Rothwell Junior School, said: “Children and staff at Rothwell Junior school walked for 20 minutes round the playground, recorded their steps using a pedometer and multiplied the total by the 400 that took part.

“The total number of steps was 800,000, plus a further 4,138 steps recorded during the day by the staff in reception.”