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Scotland: a Daily Mile Nation

Published: 25 Aug 2017 10:00

All Scottish schools encouraged to take part.

The Scottish Government has written to schools, nurseries, colleges and universities urging them to help Scotland become the first Daily Mile Nation. 

Around 800 Scottish primary schools currently take part in the initiative, which encourages people to walk, jog or run a mile every day. It is now being rolled out beyond the school sector.

Today the Education Secretary, Sports Minister and Chief Medical Officer joined pupils at St Ninian’s Primary School in Stirling for a Daily Mile with a difference, as it crossed paths with the Queen’s Baton Relay.

Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Education, John Swinney said:

“I’m delighted to be back at St Ninian’s Primary School, where the Daily Mile began back in 2012, to encourage every school in Scotland to take part and fulfil our ambition of being the first Daily Mile nation.

“We have written to headteachers, heads of early years establishments and principals of further and higher education institutions to highlight the benefits of the Daily Mile, not just to physical and mental health but to raising attainment levels and improving relationships between pupils and teaching staff.”

Minister for Public Health and Sport, Aileen Campbell said:

“This simple and effective concept can help us to reduce health inequalities and to reduce the impact on our NHS.

“It’s brilliant to see the children here doing their Daily Mile with the Queen’s Baton, and I hope the run up to the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games – as well as the Glasgow 2018 European Championships – will inspire them to try out different sports and activities.”

Chief Medical Officer Catherine Calderwood said:

“We know that physical activity is so important for children’s development. The UK Chief Medical Officers’ Guidelines recommend at least three hours of activity a day from birth to five years; and at least 60 minutes a day for five to 18-year-olds.

“Active children are healthy, happy, ready to learn and they sleep better.”

Convener of Stirling Council’s Education Committee Susan McGill said:

“The Daily Mile, introduced in St Ninians Primary in Stirling, is a powerful tool to improve children's fitness and I am proud that our schools led the way in improving children's health.

“The Queen’s Baton Relay is an iconic symbol of the Commonwealth Games and the involvement of St Ninians pupils will inspire pride in the local community and across the region.”

Background

The Daily Mile is a simple but effective concept through which primary-aged children run or walk for 15 minutes every day. Any primary school can implement The Daily Mile at no cost, and its impact can be transformational – improving not only the children’s fitness, but also their concentration levels, mood, behaviour and general wellbeing. Since beginning at St Ninians Primary, Stirling, in 2012, The Daily Mile has grown exponentially, with over 3,000 participating schools,  and over half a million children taking part daily.