Local Children Don Christmas Jumpers and Take Part in ‘Daily Mile Santa Run’

19th December 2022
Children from Ballybeen Women’s Pre-school taking part in the Daily Mile

Primary and Pre-school children across the South Eastern HSC Trust donned their Christmas jumpers to get into the Christmas spirit to take part in the annual ‘Daily Mile Santa Run’ which is hosted by the Daily Mile Network.

Over 140 schools and pre-schools across the Trust area regularly take part in the Daily Mile initiative.

16 children from Ballybeen Women’s Centre Pre-school in Dundonald participated by completing their Daily Mile where they are encouraged to either walk, jog or run for at least fifteen minutes every day.

Ballybeen Pre-school Leader, Leah commented, “I knew when joining the Pre-school team that as their Leader I wanted to involve the kids in spending more time outdoors and within nature on a daily basis.

“I have observed the children’s physical wellbeing and especially their mental health soar. Their confidence, self-esteem and emotional skills have also increased, giving them a space to build on their relationships and friendships with both their friends and their teachers. We are so blessed to have the ability to do the Daily Mile and to be ambassadors here at Ballybeen Women’s Centre Pre-school. We could not recommend this more, especially for Pre-school aged children.”

Speaking of the benefit of physical exercise for young children, Health Development Practitioner within the South Eastern Trust, Jayne McKillen added, “Research has shown higher levels of physical activity for children in the early years of school should help maintain higher levels of physical activity in childhood and adolescence. 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 coordination, it also improves the child’s cardiovascular fitness.

“Unfortunately many children do not meet the guidelines for physical activity which for 5 -18 years old are to aim to achieve at least 60 minutes of activity a day. The Daily Mile is a great free and fun way that schools can implement the good habit of fun physical activity for their pupils which can set them up for a healthier life.”

The Daily Mile has been a great success, supporting children’s physical and mental health, by encouraging them to spend at least 15 minutes outdoors, exploring the surrounding areas of their school and within nature on a daily basis.

For more information about the Daily Mile, please visit: https://thedailymile.co.uk/. Schools or pre-schools are able to register for future programmes by contacting Jayne.McKillen@setrust.hscni.net