Primary schools across Mayo are to participate in a new daily initiative, The Daily Mile, which will improve the physical, emotional, and social health and wellbeing of all children and help in the battle to combat obesity. Mayo GAA stars Lee Keegan and Cora Staunton joined children and staff in Snugboro National School Castlebar last week to launch this programme which has its origins in the UK.
In 2012 Elaine Wyllie, head teacher of a large Scottish primary school, realised that her pupils, like many others, were unfit. She introduced the concept of every class doing 15 minutes of a walk, jog, or run daily and found the results hugely beneficial. The Daily Mile initiative was born and now has become so popular that hundreds of schools in the UK participate in the programme and is also in countries such as Belgium, Holland, the US, and now Ireland.
Mayo Sports Partnership, HSE West, and the Mayo Education Centre have invited schools to participate in this profoundly simple but effective concept, which any primary school or nursery can implement. Its impact can be transformational, improving not only the childrens’ fitness, but also their concentration levels, mood, behaviour, and general wellbeing.
“The response from schools has been fantastic and we hope that this concept would become part of their normal school day activities throughout the year,” commented HSE West health promotion officer Thelma Birraand.
The Daily Mile is successful because it is simple and free: (1 ) It takes place over just 15 minutes, with children averaging a mile each day. (2 ) Children run outside in the fresh air – and the weather is a benefit, not a barrier. (3 ) There’s no set up, tidy up, or equipment required. (4 ) Children run in their uniforms so no kit or changing time is needed. (5 ) It’s social, non-competitive and fun. (6 ) It’s fully inclusive; every child succeeds, whatever his/her circumstances, age, or ability.
“We are delighted to be a partner in promoting The Daily Mile in our local schools. The initiative demonstrates how something so simple can be so effective,” added Mayo Sports Partnership co-ordinator Charlie Lambert.
For further details on the daily mile visit www.thedailymile.co.uk Expressions of interest by schools in The Daily Mile can be lodged by contacting Mayo Sports Partnership at 094 9047025 or email: [email protected].