A Mile A Day – Children across Yorkshire could soon be Running a Mile as part of each School Day

Jordan Kelly

The Daily Mile is spreading far and wide after a school in Stirling sets the standard with running scheme to get kids active.


Children in schools from Scotland all the way to Belgium have begun running a mile a day as part of their school day, now schools in Leeds are beginning to take part in an effort to combat obesity and improve their children’s overall fitness.


Julie Peters, 52, a nursery teacher at Richmond Hill Primary School in Leeds said:


Our Golden Mile Project aims to encourage our children to walk run and exercise more. We have just had a thermoplastic exercise track marked out around one edge of our playground


Julie, who has previously worked with volunteers in Leeds to get kids active added:


The track has pausing points which aren’t for resting but to encourage the children to exercise in different ways. The activities we put at the pausing points can be changed during the school year so that the children don’t become bored


Elaine Wylie, Former Headmistress of St Ninians in Stirling where The Daily Mile first launch said:


It’s so important for kids to be healthy, although we are a school the children’s health and well-being has to come first


Elaine, who is now retired from teaching but works with the charity Run For Fun added:


For it to work we had to make sure that the transition from class to track is slick. The run energises the children and works smoothly alongside their learning. Parents at St Ninian’s have been really supportive and I think all parents would approve of The Daily Mile coming to their children’s schools in Leeds


Rich Sadler, Sports Activator at West Yorkshire Sport said:


I think The Daily Mile initiative is fantastic. It’s such a simple way of encouraging young people to be active, hopefully it will begin to instill in children the habit of being physically active for life


Walking, jogging and running are great ways to encourage people to be active and there are so few barriers involved. They also have a social element which is important when trying to encourage people into physical activity – particularly those who have previously been inactive


Nick Settle, Club and Coach Support Officer at England Athletics said:


There are other initiatives similar to ‘The Daily Mile’ such as Golden Mile, Kids Run for Free and Go Run For Fun available in the UK. England Athletics are looking at the best way to facilitate and promote these organisations through a ‘Campaign’ in the New Year to get more kids running


Nick added:


There is a pilot currently being completed within London to a range of pilot schools (5) with another 5-10 schools in the New Year. For interested schools we have produced a fairly basic 1 page support tool for them to use


As of November 2015, fifteen schools in the south are working with London Sport to pilot The Daily Mile. Further afield schools in countries across Europe have also introduced the running programme.


Patrick Verbraecken, a school teacher at Brede School in Belgium, contacted Mrs Wylie explaining how The Daily Mile in Scotland had inspired his school to start it overseas. Olympic Gold Medalist winner, Tia Hellebaut, is patron of the mile a day scheme in Belgium.


Mrs Wylie added: 


Councils, Politicians and schools have a responsibility for the children’s health. We are at the stage where we have guilty knowledge, if your local schools aren’t doing The Daily Mile, why not?


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