Pupils from eight Portsmouth schools can support World Car-Free Day by asking parents and carers to leave their cars at home during the Pompey Monster Stomp to School Challenge. 

The inter-school challenge, which sees children from selected schools compete for fantastic prizes by walking, wheeling, cycling, or scooting to school, aims to promote friendly competition while helping to create safer journeys.

During the challenge, which takes place between Monday 25 September and Friday 10 November, children are encouraged to walk, wheel, cycle or scoot as much as they can when they travel to and from school. Every stomp counts towards their school’s collective total as the children’s combined stomps bring them closer to collecting the top prize: an exclusive BMX show for their school. There will also be a selection of great runner-up prizes, plus classes within schools will compete against each for the chance to win extra playtime.

Children who travel to school by car will still be able to take part by parking a short distance away and walking from there. This allows children the opportunity to walk or wheel at least some of the way and still participate towards the school’s collective totals.

The Pompey Monster Stomp to School Challenge can now be accessed by participating schools through the Go Jauntly app. This digital revamp brings the challenge swiftly up to date and can be easily downloaded by parents and carers. The app brings Stomper, the leader of the Pompey Monsters, to life, and motivates children to keep going throughout the challenge by sharing digital rewards.

Parents can easily log the children’s stomps through the app, and this contributes towards the collective totals for the schools. It also features a useful challenge leaderboard where parents and schools can track their school’s progress.

As well as encouraging children to be more physically and mentally active, the challenge helps to reduce the number of children being dropped off and collected by car. This can create positive environmental benefits as less cars on the road helps to develop cleaner air, which improves the health and wellbeing of everyone who lives in or travels around participating schools.

Gerald Vernon-Jackson, Cabinet Member for Transport, said: “Initiatives like the Stomp to School Challenge can help create a really important change in the way people travel to school, by encouraging parents and carers to go car-free in favour of walking, wheeling, cycling and scooting.

“This challenge is just one example of how we’re creating better opportunities for people to travel in more sustainable ways, which develops positive travel choices, cleaner air and protects the health of future generations.”

The schools taking part in challenges this autumn are Portsdown Primary School, Gatcombe Park Primary School, Stamshaw Infant School and Stamshaw Junior School in the north of the city, and St Swithun’s Catholic Primary School, Penbridge Infant School, Penbridge Junior School and New Horizons Primary School in the south.

During the spring term St Paul’s Catholic Primary School, Beaconview Primary Academy, Craneswater Junior School, Cumberland Infant School and Wimborne Primary School took part in the initial phase of challenges, with Beaconview and Cumberland schools winning a BMX show for their schools. Throughout the summer challenge, participants travelled 21,168 km over 255 days and 22 hours on a total of 12657 individual walks. This equates to around a 2604kg reduction in carbon emissions and a saving of £6138 in petrol compared with driving the same distance.

Find out more about the Pompey Monster Stomp to School Challenge