Making a walk almost too cool for school...

Pupils from Blackpool schools unveil their jigsaw on the Comedy Carpet to celebrate Walk to School week.  Marton Primary pupils Ellie Ogden, Lawrence Moore, Jack Jennings and Stacey Trevelyan.

Pupils from Blackpool schools unveil their jigsaw on the Comedy Carpet to celebrate Walk to School week. Marton Primary pupils Ellie Ogden, Lawrence Moore, Jack Jennings and Stacey Trevelyan.

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Keeping fit and healthy is no laughter matter, but it can certainly be fun - as schoolchildren found out.

400 children from Blackpool schools covered Comedy Carpet gags over with a giant jigsaw depicting walk to school mascot Strider to celebrate Walk to School Week.

The children pieced together hundreds of A2 sized pieces, coloured in by each of them, to show the orange footprint shaped mascot.

Pupils from Marton Primary School started their day by walking from Central Pier up to the Comedy Carpet before joining children from four other schools to join in with ‘fitness fun’.

Marton pupil Jack Rukia, 11, said: “I walk to school, it gets my healthy, keeps me fit and wakes me up in the morning ready for the day.”

The children from Hawes Side Academy, St Johns CE Primary, St Cuthbert’s RC Primary ,St Kentigern’s RC Primary and Marton Primary schools all joined together for ‘fitness and fun’ activities on the Promenade attraction on Tuesday.

Walk to School Week was prompted by figures showing around one third of children leave primary school overweight or obese while the number of children walking to school has declined.

As a result Living Streets and Blackpool Council are working together to try to reverse the trend.

Living Streets’ Chief Executive, Tony Armstrong, added: “We know that 68 per cent of boys and 76 per cent of girls are not currently meeting the recommended 60 minutes a day of physical activity.

“Walking to school is an easy way to build some exercise into your child’s day; it’s an opportunity for some quality time and teaches them valuable road safety skills.”

Riley Moat and Ellie Humphries, both 11, are young road safety officers at St Cuthbert’s RC Primary School and encourage their classmates to walk or cycle to school to keep healthy, or use public transport to lower their carbon footprint.

Ellie said: “We’re trying to get more people to walk to school - it’s healthy and stops too much traffic.

“I get to school feeling awake when I’ve walked in. It’s better than a car because you can spend time talking to your family and won’t be late because of traffic.”

Coun John Jones, cabinet member for highways and transport, said: “There are tremendous benefits to walking to school.

“This event was designed to make walking fun and we hope it will create a lasting and enduring association for these young people which will stay with them for a lifetime.”

Hawes Side Primary School pupil Ellie Bunnage, 10, added: “It’s important to walk to school to be healthy.”

The youngsters were then treated to a trip up Blackpool Tower to look down on the completed jigsaw, made up of pieces painted by them.