Youngsters walk to New York and back!

Backing The Daily Mile here in Wigan Borough are from left: Pete Burt, managing director of Inspiring Healthy Lifestyles; Professor Kate Ardern, director of public health at Wigan Council; Elaine and John Wyllie from The Daily Mile and James Winterbottom, director of children's services at Wigan Council
Backing The Daily Mile here in Wigan Borough are from left: Pete Burt, managing director of Inspiring Healthy Lifestyles; Professor Kate Ardern, director of public health at Wigan Council; Elaine and John Wyllie from The Daily Mile and James Winterbottom, director of children's services at Wigan Council

Creating a healthy future for generations to come has already started thanks to The Daily Mile coming to Wigan.

And Elaine Wyllie, the founder of the movement which encourages schools to get all pupils out to run a mile every school day, has given her backing to the scheme by speaking about the benefits to teachers from across the borough at Robin Park Arena.

More than 6,800 children took part in The Daily Mile as part of Wellfest in September, and their collective efforts saw them travel the equivalent distance to New York and back.

Schools including Woodfield Primary School started to run The Daily Mile with support from Inspiring healthy lifestyles earlier this year and have already seen massive improvements in pupils’ fitness and attention levels back in the classroom.

Woodfield Primary School headteacher Julie Charnley said: “What a great way to start our day. When we first heard about The Daily Mile it just seemed to make perfect sense. The children are all very excited about their daily walks, it’s a great time for them, it takes just 15 minutes and what we get back in return in terms of happy, motivated children makes it all worthwhile.”

The scheme was introduced by Elaine at her school in Stirling, Scotland, to improve the fitness levels of pupils there back in 2012. The initiative took off with other schools and is now practised in schools across the country. The run has proved popular with pupils and parents alike with it an easy to implement measure which is free for all and can be done by all pupils regardless of ability.

Elaine said: “The Daily Mile is buying children better health not just now but in 70 years’ time. We have three year olds who can easily do five laps of our course. It was obvious that it was sustainable and free. They think it’s normal to run now.”

To find out more visit www.thedailymile.co.uk or schools officer for Inspiring health lifestyles Hazel Whittle by emailing h.whittle@wlct.org or call 01942 404969.