Local Children Celebrate 10 Years of ‘The Daily Mile’

30th May 2022
Image of St Patrick’s Primary School pupils taking part in ‘The Daily Mile’ 10th birthday celebrations.

The Daily Mile Network in partnership with The Daily Mile Foundation recently hosted 10th birthday celebrations across the South Eastern HSC Trust area, with over 100 schools and pre-schools registering to take part.

‘The Daily Mile’ is a transformative initiative where children run, jog, wheel or walk for fifteen minutes every day, in which time, most children will average a mile or more. The initiative has enjoyed phenomenal success since it was started by former Head Teacher Elaine Wyllie 10 years ago, at a single primary school in Stirling. Today, over 3 million children take part in a daily mile across 12,000 schools in 80 countries worldwide!

St Patrick’s Primary School from Saul, Downpatrick got the whole school involved with 168 pupils and 30 staff taking part in the 10th birthday celebrations, walking to St Patrick’s Park, home of the local GAA club. Principal of St Patricks Primary School, Mr Mark McGrath said, “We were delighted to help ‘The Daily Mile’ celebrate their 10th birthday by enjoying a brisk walk at Saul GAC. We know our children and local community love a good walk and this walkway is used by hundreds of people every day, the children are familiar with it as lots of them play there too.

“We have used our school grounds for our shorter, more frequent walks, but felt that the walkway was more appropriate for this special occasion. The children loved the walk and even sang Happy Birthday Daily Mile!”

South Eastern HSC Trust Community Health Development Officer, Jayne McKillen explained, “Local research tells us that levels of physical activity reach a lifetime peak around the age of school entry (5 years old); achieving higher levels of physical activity in the early years of school should therefore help maintain higher levels of physical activity levels in childhood and adolescence. It is during the early years of childhood that physical activity helps with concentration and thinking skills, helps build a healthier body composition, stronger bones and muscles improving both their fine and gross motor skills, aiding balance and overall co-ordination, it also improves the child’s cardiovascular fitness.

“Sadly we know that many children do not meet the Chief Medical Officers (2019) guidelines for physical activity for 5 – 18 year olds, which are, to Get Strong, Reduce Inactivity, Move More and aim to achieve 60 minutes of activity that makes you breathe faster and feel warm.”

The Daily Mile is a great free, fun way that schools can implement the good habit of fun physical activity for their pupils which can set them up for healthier lives.

Schools who are interested in finding out more information or registering for ‘The Daily Mile’ can contact Jayne by email: Jayne.mckillen@setrust.hscni.net or visit  https://thedailymile.co.uk/