YOUNGSTERS across East Ayrshire have been challenged to walk or cycle enough miles to get a virtual rocket to the Moon.

Twenty-two primary schools in the area have signed up to the 'Mission to the Moon' active travel initiative - and will now try and clock up 238,855 S-Miles (school miles) between them, the distance from the Earth to the Moon.

Each Active Traveller can earn S-Smiles by walking, cycling or scooting to school, or by walking the S-Miles circuit within their school grounds.

The schools have set a target destination that can be anywhere in the world, for example their school to Edinburgh Castle, their school to Disney World or any chosen starting point and destination, like John O’Groats to Land’s End.

They have all worked out the number of S-Miles needed to get there, and have set a target time.

Councillor Elaine Cowan, East Ayrshire Council's spokesperson for lifelong learning, education and skills and culture, was at the launch of the initiative, and feels it is a great way to keeps kids engaged in active travel.

Cllr Cowan said: “Mission to the Moon is a brand new and inclusive active travel initiative that has launched in our primary schools.

"All children, young people and teaching staff can earn S-Miles by walking, scooting or parking and striding to school and parents, carers and siblings can also join in earning bonus S-Miles by walking to school.

"Crew members who take part in the Daily Mile also earn bonus S-Miles.

“Mission Control will keep a tally of every S-Mile earned and will record it on the S-Mile-ometer, which will add power to the Clean Green Rocket, and they will issue monthly updates to schools."