Mayo Sports stars launch Primary Schools "Daily Mile" Initiative
Primary schools across Mayo are to participate in a new daily initiative "The Daily Mile" which will improve the physical, emotional, 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 and is now being introduced to primary schools in Mayo.
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 Birrane
The Daily Mile is successful because it is simple and free:
· It takes place over just 15 minutes, with children averaging a mile each day.
· Children run outside in the fresh air - and the weather is a benefit, not a barrier.
· There's no set up, tidy up, or equipment required.
· Children run in their uniforms so no kit or changing time is needed.
· It's social, non-competitive and fun.
· It's fully inclusive; every child succeeds, whatever their 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.
Mayo Education Centre Director Paul Butler also stressed how "The Daily Mile" can link in with the Active School Flag initiative.
"Because it's a holistic programme "The Daily Mile" can be a simple activity that can support a schools application towards an Active School Flag"
While the Snugboro schoolchildren were busy seeking autographs from their idols both Keegan and Staunton were very impressed with this current drive to get our primary school children more active.
"Being active on a daily basis ensures that you can live a healthy and long life" Cora told the children while Lee added " You can be whoever you want to be and being healthy will help you to achieve your dreams"
For further details on the daily mile please visit the website 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: firstname.lastname@example.org