Free Make-Up and Music for Pupils Who Walk to School

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Byline: Ruth Bloomfield

TEENAGERS are being offered free music, clothes and make-up to encourage them to walk to school.

Secondary school pupils will also get pedometers to count the number of steps they take each day under a pilot scheme to combat obesity.

Every pupil who walks a minimum of 60,000 steps between Monday and Friday for four weeks will be rewarded with shopping vouchers.

The average number of steps in a mile is between 2,000 and 2,500, so walking 60,000 steps is equivalent to between 24 and 30 miles.

Prizes on offer would include vouchers to use at high street stores such as HMV, Boots and H & M. The scheme will be launched this academic year and Ealing council is hoping that pupils who volunteer will be encouraged to continue walking after the project has ended. If successful it could be adopted by councils across London.

Ian Gibb, the council's cabinet member for children and young people, said he hoped the project would help reduce both childhood obesity and traffic on the roads.

"We want to promote healthy lifestyles and there are some obesity problems among young people in the area, as there are everywhere," he said.

"We would ideally like children to move away from being driven to school or jumping on the bus.

"You can lecture kids about walking, but we felt that we needed to offer some kind of extra incentive to encourage them to want to walk. …