Released: 10 June 2019
More than 50 schools across West Sussex are already enjoying the benefits of taking part in The Daily Mile, and are now calling upon those schools who haven’t signed up to give the daily fitness challenge a try.
The Daily Mile sees children run, jog or walk - at their own pace - outside in the fresh air with their friends. Taking place in just 15 minutes, most children average a mile, or more, each day, with no set up, tidy up or equipment needed.
As well as being social, non-competitive and fun, it can help to improve fitness, achieve a healthy weight and boost emotional wellbeing.
Polly Neville is the PE Co-Coordinator at Bosham Primary School. She said: "We started the Daily Mile in one class and had so much success, we rolled it out to every class in the school three years ago. We find that it is an essential tool in keeping children engaged in their learning, giving them a wake up break whenever needed!
“Our children are definitely fitter and more resilient and teachers relish the opportunity to chat to children one-on-one in an informal way, not usually possible within the lesson. We feel that the Daily Mile supports every aspect of our children's health and wellbeing and is great fun as well!"
Megan Kerrigan, PE Leader at Our Lady Queen of Heaven Catholic Primary School in Crawley, said: “We decided to introduce The Daily Mile into our school because it’s a great, fun way to increase fitness in our children. We noticed many of our children had little to no stamina during PE lessons and some children didn’t even know what it was like to get out of breath.
“Many children in our school haven’t got the opportunities to participate in clubs outside of school and therefore, we decided it was a good idea to try to increase their physical activity within school, along with the government recommendation so we introduced The Daily Mile.
“It has been a great way to increase fitness, enjoyment of exercise and focus within class. In a teacher survey recently, all teachers said that The Daily Mile has shown an improvement in the focus of the children and is a great way to help children to become more alert in the afternoon when they have become ‘sluggish’. I have noticed that the children in my class are learning how to pace themselves and all of them enjoy going out to do The Daily Mile and seem to enjoy the running. It has been brilliant to get children feeling fit and increase their alertness in school.”
Jane Towey is the Leader for PE at Leechpool Primary School in Horsham. She said: “We have been running the Daily Mile consistently for most of this academic year, and many of our staff and children can boast about the benefits – often the children are asking when they will get to do it and really pushing themselves to get further each time.
“Some of our KS1 children have really benefitted from the opportunity to get out and get active – this has enabled them to become better learners and focus much more readily on the tasks set in class.”
Penny Wojcik is the PE Leader at St. Richard’s Catholic Primary School in Chichester. She explained that The Daily Mile was popular with pupils, with one year 3 child telling her: “The mile run not only keeps you fit but gives our brain time to sort out the things we have done in the day and it gives us a break from our work! I enjoy the run because it is a time to run with friends!”
But it isn’t just the pupils who were benefiting. Penny said: “We also have three teachers who were inspired to do a mini triathlon and have chosen to keep up the running and are taking part in park runs and a 10k.
“I also ran the London Marathon this year and we got the children involved with fundraising for charity by giving a whole school challenge of 'how many miles could we all run in a day' with each class running for 20 minutes. It was a great success and lots said that The Daily Mile helped them to sustain their running and not give up!”
Richard Burrett, West Sussex County Council’s Cabinet Member for Education and Skills, said: “It is wonderful to hear so many positive comments from our schools about the benefits of getting outside and enjoying the fresh air while being active.
“I am delighted that so many schools have already signed up to take part in The Daily Mile, and I would urge any schools who have not yet done so to consider the real benefits of taking part.”
For more information and how to sign up, see The Daily Mile website.