Hundreds of primary schools sign up for The Daily Mile
11 December 2019, 11:50 a.m.
The number of London primary schools signed up to The Daily Mile has increased by 114 per cent in the year since the hugely successful launch of the partnership between the Mayor of London, London Marathon Events and The Daily Mile Foundation to inspire London’s schoolchildren to get active.
In October 2018, when the Mayor, assisted by Sir Mo Farah, launched the initiative, 326 London primary schools were enrolled. Twelve months later, 371 more primary schools across the capital have signed up and The Daily Mile is now a regular fixture of the school day, with up to 245,000 schoolchildren taking part across London.
The Daily Mile aims to encourage children of all ages and abilities to participate in at least 15 minutes of physical activity a day. The simple health and wellbeing initiative is effective in boosting activity levels, helping to improve the physical and mental wellbeing of the young children who take part.
At present, London boroughs make up seven of the 10 worst-ranked authorities in England for obesity rates, with nearly 40 per cent of all London’s children overweight or obese at the age of 10/11; with the highest rates occurring in the areas of greatest deprivation.
London’s first ever The Daily Mile Day took place in July, with more than 29,000 children taking part in activity across London. Primary schools engaged with The Daily Mile have been treated to visits from elite athletes including Sir Mo Farah and Steph Twell, who both visited schools to see for themselves the positive impact of the initiative. Many London boroughs have seen huge increases in schools engaging with The Daily Mile, with increases of over 300 per cent in Kingston, Harrow, Bexley and Ealing. A number of boroughs now have over half their primary schools signed up, including Tower Hamlets, Enfield, Lewisham and Westminster.
Inspiring activity has been at the heart of the partnership and many teachers involved with The Daily Mile have reported a boost in the activity levels of their pupils, as well as improved overall fitness, mental wellbeing and focus and concentration levels in class.
Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London, said: “I’m really proud London was the first capital city in the world to back The Daily Mile and it’s great so many of the city’s primary schools have signed up to this fantastic initiative. Helping children become more active each day has clear benefits both inside and outside the classroom.”
Elaine Wyllie MBE, Founder of The Daily Mile, said: “We’re very grateful to London Marathon Events for their inspirational leadership of The Daily Mile in London. It’s wonderful to see so many children across all 32 boroughs benefitting from this free and simple initiative by being more active every day and improving their physical and mental health, now and for the future.”
Mary Mangan, teacher at St Joseph’s Junior School in Norwood, said: “The Daily Mile is effortless in every way. It costs nothing; takes up minimal time; and it requires no special equipment or experience, making it inclusive for all the children. This is exactly what every London child needs.”
Hugh Brasher, Event Director for London Marathon Events said: “This has been a hugely successful first year for our partnership with The Daily Mile Foundation and the Mayor of London to get all London’s primary schools signed up to The Daily Mile. It is wonderful to have doubled the number of primary schools taking part in The Daily Mile every day and we are currently on track to sign up more than half of London’s primary schools by the end of this school year.”
In 2020 the London Marathon will celebrate the 40th Race in its history and to mark the occasion, the Virgin Money London Marathon are offering registered schools with The Daily Mile the chance to win one of 40 guaranteed ‘Inspiring Activity’ places in the world’s greatest marathon on Sunday 26 April 2020.