Family walks during Movin'March

Lopez family on the way to schoolWalking as a family to St Francis Xavier school last week as a whole family wasn’t an everyday occurrence for the Lopez family.

Mother Monique says her daughter Sophia is so encouraged by Movin’March even though it means getting up earlier than usual.  “She has seen how her older brother used to do it, so now she looks forward to it every year too and makes sure we do it with her."

Now in her 5th year taking part in Movin'March, Sophia would alternate between biking, scootering or walking with Dad or Mum halfway to school.

“The day I took this photo, my son’s college had just moved to online learning, so it was the first time we had a chance to all be at home in the morning and walk with her as a family.  It made her feel special and it was also a special moment for our family.”  

Monique volunteers for her local church group supporting families who are isolating or recovering from Covid.  With Omicron impacting on daily routines and causing disruptions at school, this has raised anxiety levels for some like Sophia. “Movin’March was something positive to focus on. It gave us the opportunity to talk about the reality of Covid and to explain the importance of why we are doing things differently now. It’s important we hear her out and validate her feelings, while showing her that we can do something to help. She’s also got to see that families get better and out the other side.  I think that’s very reassuring for our children to see”. 

The Lopez family has been taking more recreational walks lately, exploring the reserves in their own backyard such as going up nearby Rangituhi.  “We love this family time.  There’s no devices and everyone’s free to talk about whatever is on their mind.  We can talk about our feelings, or what’s happening in the world.  It’s so important to keep those lines of communication open and walking together is a great way to do this.” 

Thanks to everyone in the Lopez family and St Francis Xavier school for supporting Movin’March and your community through difficult times.  Tino pai!

Updated 17 March 2022 at 12:20