Mackellar girls swap smart phones for pedometers and step up en-masse to support Year 9 student with cerebral palsy
15-year-old Ziree Maouch inspires 220 students and staff to take on challenge of 10,000 steps a day
MANLY VALE, WEDNESDAY 10 SEPTEMBER 2014 – It could well be the most active high school in all of NSW! The girls and staff of Mackellar Girls Campus have swapped their smart phones for pedometers and are aiming to do 10,000 steps a day in support of a fellow student who has cerebral palsy.
Year 9 student Ziree Maouch has cerebral palsy and uses a walking frame or scooter to get around the Manly Vale campus.
According to PE teacher Samantha Waterhouse, when Ziree addressed an entire school assembly and asked her fellow students to join her in doing the STEPtember 10,000 steps a day challenge, she almost caused a stampede!
‘Ziree was amazing, as she got up in front of the entire school and told the students about her cerebral palsy and how it impacted on her life’, Samantha Waterhouse said. ‘She was quite upfront in saying although her movement was affected, her brain was just like anybody else’s.
‘When she asked if any of the girls would be interested in joining her on the STEPtember challenge to help raise money for essential therapy and equipment for other kids with cerebral palsy, she was blown away by the response.’
220 students and staff signed up immediately, and have now have taken on the STEPtember activity challenge of doing 10,000 steps a day for an entire month. Participants wear pedometers and log their daily activity online. More than 40 activities can also be converted into steps including cycling, rowing, surfing and going to the gym. STEPtember participants also raise money so Cerebral Palsy Alliance can provide equipment and therapy for kids with cerebral palsy.
At Mackellar, music and dancing as well as sports and fitness activities have replaced lunchtime selfies as girls from Year 7 right through to Year 12 wear pedometers to track their daily activity.
‘Our girls are very generous in their support of various charities, and it is lovely to see the whole school community rallying to support a cause very close to home’, Samantha Waterhouse said. ‘Not only are our students and staff getting fit and active, but they have also learnt a lot about cerebral palsy and how it affects children and adults.
‘Ziree’s determination and positive attitude to life have started a revolution on campus – the activity at lunchtime is quite a sight to see!’
To support the Mackellar teams taking on the STEPtember challenge, go to www.steptember.org.au
Released on 10 Sep 2014