Olympian Chris aims to get kids moving

Chris Erickson passes on some handy hints to Ocean Grove Primary School students. 161139

By Justin Flynn

OCEAN Grove Olympian Chris Erickson believes the key to getting kids to be more active starts at home.
Erickson, 34, finished 10th in the 50km walk at the Rio Olympics, his third consecutive Games, and was at Ocean Grove Primary School to help promote Walk to School month.
His father Tim was also an Olympic racewalker.
“I’m a product of my upbringing and it’s something I try to pass on to my kids,” he said.
“It’s great to see in a community when you see kids walk to school. I think Geelong has had one of the biggest uptakes for Walk to School. It’s obviously such a great way to get kids more active.”
October is VicHealth’s Walk to School month. Victorian primary students are encouraged to walk, ride or scoot to and from school to kick-start healthy travel habits that can lead to good health for life.
Erickson moved to Ocean Grove two years ago and trains at the Bellarine Rail Trail, Kingston estate and the Barwon River.
His 10th-placed finish at Rio was done in a time of 3:48:40.
“My aim was to finish in the top 10 and I achieved that,” he said.
Erickson said children need to be more active today.
“There’s an obesity epidemic,” he said.
“The target is to get kids to do 60 minutes of rigorous activity a day. If you turn up to a school at 9am, there’s a hundred cars. They don’t have to walk all the way. Just stopping a few streets early and then walking the rest of the way makes a difference.”