Bognor Regis girl Liesl-Lottie Pilgrim has been named as one of 11 winners of a national design competition.
The Nyewood CE Junior School pupil was among more than 100,000 children to enter the Walk the Americas badge competition, organised by Living Streets, the UK charity for everyday walking.
The aim was to promote WOW, a year-round challenge which sees pupils who walk to school at least once a week rewarded with collectable badges.
Liesl-Lottie won an exclusive WOW goody bag, a trophy displaying her winning design, a certificate and a plaque to be displayed in her school.
Liesl-Lottie said: “When I found that mine was one of the winning designs, I felt so happy. The best thing about it was that it was a total surprise.
“Mr Williams, our head teacher, suddenly put my design on the board in assembly and I realised I had won. My design was based in Peru with Mach Picchu in the background. I set it in Peru as that’s where my parents found out they were expecting me.”
Her school will receive free WOW resources for the next academic year to allow pupils to continue taking part and encourage pupils to walk to school.
Jon Williams, head teacher, said: “I am extremely proud of Liesl-Lottie for her achievement by being a winner in a national competition is a great accolade.
“Promoting walking to school is so important, not only for the health benefits but also in reducing the number of cars at the school gates at drop off and pick up times.
“I hope that Liesl-Lottie’s efforts will encourage even more children to walk to school in the future.”
Liesl-Lottie’s design and those of ten other pupils from across England, Scotland and Wales will be made into WOW badges for children to collect during the next academic year, one for each month of the school calendar.
The charity says walking to school is an easy and free way for children to get active and stay healthy. It also means fewer cars, fewer traffic jams, less pollution and less trouble around the school gates.
Teachers confirm that pupils who walk to school are more alert, ready to learn and achieve better grades than those who are driven.
In primary schools, the introduction of WOW sees walking rates increase on average by 23 per cent and a corresponding drop in car use.
Joe Irvin, chief executive at Living Streets, said: “This year, we had more than 1,000 finalists from over 340 UK schools. The design theme was Walk the Americas we received some fantastic drawings ranging from flags and famous people from each of the countries to indigenous animals and traditional delicacies.
“It was difficult to narrow them down to 11 as the standard was extremely high, so the winners should be very proud.
“We look forward to having Nyewood CofE Junior School take part in WOW next year and hearing how the walk to school helps their pupils’ health and happiness.”