Posted: Friday 12th May 2017
The daily mile was originally developed by Elaine Wyllie, a headteacher in Scotland. It is a simple and free way for schools to help their pupils to get more active by encouraging them to run or walk for 15 minutes every day during the school day.
Some children are able to do a mile in this time, while others will build up to this - the focus is on personal achievements, having fun, and improving individual records rather than on who is the fastest.
By encouraging children and young people to be more active, it helps them improve their fitness, wellbeing and concentration at school.
Recent research by the London Playing Fields Foundation found that in three months, the average fitness of Year 5 and 6 pupils increased from 37 to 64 per cent as a result of the daily mile. Improvements were also seen in classroom attentiveness and pupils’ self-esteem.
In Hertfordshire we already have 32 schools signed up to the daily mile, with 25 more pledged to launch it soon.
Oaklands School in in Welwyn is the latest to join the movement, and their official launch took place yesterday, 11th May.
Welwyn Garden City couple Dennis and Eleanor Draper who are both in their eighties, were at the school to launch the daily mile. Between them, the couple have completed 422 marathons since their first one together in 1988 and Eleanor was the oldest woman to complete the London marathon this year.
Jim McManus, Director of Public Health, Hertfordshire County Council:
“We know the benefits that regular activity has on improving children’s physical health, emotional health and success at school and the daily mile is a fantastic way to bring this into children’s daily lives in a fun, sociable and inclusive way. There is a lot of good work taking place across Hertfordshire to improve children’s health and wellbeing, and the Daily Mile is one more way to make sure our children are active, healthy and happy.”
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