The Municipality of Selnica ob Dravi is a small municipality in South East Slovenia with 4600 inhabitants. Municipal strategic development goal is to be the healthiest municipality by 2040.
One of the most important conditions to stay healthy is movement and physical activity. Our modern lifestyle allows for less and less movements of people which not only leads to different illnesses but also influences the environment through an increasing use of cars – affecting air pollution and degrading land use. It is not easy to change the familiar bad habits and routines related to mobility and sitting. With this in mind, the municipality decided to foster a healthy and active lifestyle through different programmes fousing on the promotion of sports and the involvement of citizens.
Engaging people in sports activities is a difficult task. Therefore, the municipality has started to work very closely with its primary school and kindergarten. The mayor Vlasta Krmelj also established a Forum for sport where people linked to sport in different ways propose the activities that should be implemented to establish an active and long-term sport’s local community.
One of the most important issue is that we have to start early in people’s life - engage the children from very early age. In the municipal kindergarten, there are children from one to six years old. The kindergarten headmaster was deeply involved in searching for good ideas and developed a special programme for promoting walking activities – short organised trips around the village. The municipality is lucky to have more than 50 km of different walking and cycling nature routes, through valleys by the river and streams, forests and over the meadows.
Together, the kindergarten and the municipality have developed a special hiking booklet for children to use and mark their walking activities. The booklet was designed by kindergarten and sport teacher together with a professional designer taking into account all pedagogical aspects of children. The name of the booklet is “Little hiker” and it uses different methods like drawing and stickers to fill in to express the weather situation on the hiking day, how the hiker feels, what they have seen on a trip, a part that can be used for photos from a hike with family and friends, etc.
Municipality Selnica ob Dravi thanks for the cooperation to kindergarten headmaster Martina Jaunik, designer and artist Marijan Mirt, lector Maja Vačun and school headmaster Manja Kokalj.