An Oxford schoolgirl is celebrating after winning a design competition run by a national charity.

Eve Hamer, aged 10, was picked as one of 11 winners from more than 115,000 entries in the Living Streets WOW Badge Competition.

The Sandhills Community Primary School pupil’s design will now be used on badges handed to participants in the Living Streets WOW Walk to School Challenge.

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Living Streets is a national charity that promotes everyday walking across the UK.

The WOW challenge is a pupil-led initiative where children log how they get to school every day.

If they travel sustainably (walk, cycle or scoot) once a week for a month, they get rewarded with a badge.


On average, WOW schools see a 30% reduction in car journeys taken to the school gate and a 23% increase in walking rates.

Emma Coleman, headteacher at Sandhills, said: “Eve has done amazingly to be picked from so many entries.

“We are proud of all our fantastic pupils, but we are particularly proud of Eve for her achievement.”

Oxfordshire County Council backs schools joining the WOW challenge.

Encouraging pupils to walk to school helps them to be active every day.

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Medical experts advise that children are active for at least 60 minutes a day to stay fit and maintain a healthy weight.

On top of the health benefits, WOW also meets some of the goals of Connecting Oxfordshire, the council’s Local Transport Plan to reduce emissions, enhance air quality and support the transition to a low carbon economy; and to protect and enhance Oxfordshire’s environment and improve quality of life (including public health, safety and individual wellbeing).

Some schools have received some funding to support the WOW challenge, and are then asked to use a small proportion of their PE and Sport Premium funding to self-fund the WOW programme.

The WOW Travel Tracker records all modes of travel and gives us valuable insights into each school’s travel habits.

The Living Streets charity website said: "WOW has been easy for schools to adapt to.

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"As a walking charity we want to remove barriers to active travel. We support pupils with special educational needs and disabilities to enjoy walking, including travel by wheelchair or mobility scooter.

“Encouraging parents to park even a little way from the school reduces congestion and air pollution at the school gates and improves road safety. Pupils can walk the last few minutes into school with friends and family, and still earn a badge at the end of the week.”

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This story was written by Andy Ffrench, he joined the team more than 20 years ago and now covers community news across Oxfordshire.

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