As children head back to the classroom, the Southern Health and Social Care Trust is encouraging Primary schools to sign up and participate in The Daily Mile™ initiative.
The Daily Mile programme involves pupils participating in a 15 minute walk, jog or run every school day.
It was developed by Elaine Wylie MBE in response to concerns over poor fitness levels and obesity in children.
The Southern Health and Social Care Trust in partnership with the Public Health Agency, The Education Authority and local Councils is encouraging more schools to get involved.
Clare Drummy, Physical Activity Co-ordinator for the Southern Trust said: “During these challenging times, The Daily Mile initiative presents a great opportunity for schools to encourage children to be more active during the school day, in an outdoor and safe environment.
“The Daily Mile can be implemented easily under COVID guidelines. It is such a simple and low cost initiative which can help children’s physical and mental wellbeing.
“We encourage all schools to take this opportunity to support children to be more active. We can help support you to set up your own Daily Mile”.
A number of local schools have already seen the benefits.
Principal of St Brigid’s Drumilly Primary School, Mr Jeff Crimmins said: “The children are calmer and more relaxed when they come in from their Daily Mile. Without a doubt, children have benefitted tremendously from a physical fitness perspective”.
Teacher Colette Hicks from Cloughoge Primary School commented: “After The Daily Mile children are more settled in their work, concentration levels have improved and fitness levels have also improved. Children are really enjoying the initiative and the teachers and other members of staff are taking part also.”
Teacher Micheal Brady from Gaelscoil na mBeann, Kilkeel said: “There has been increased fitness across the board, leading to benefits in other physical activities. Some kids are showing an interest in running outside of school as a result.”
For support and advice on running The Daily Mile in schools please email: firstname.lastname@example.org