Mayor of Dudley to do daily mile ahead of London Marathon

St Marys’ involvement in the Daily Mile is part of a wider plan to get their pupils more physically active.

The Mayor of Dudley will be taking part in The Daily Mile at St Mary’s CE Primary School in Kingswinford on Thursday.

The school is undertaking a pioneering initiative, in which pupils take it in turns to run or walk for 15 minutes every day. The initiative hit the national headlines after hundreds of children at a primary school in Scotland took up the challenge.

Cllr Waltho, said: “This is a fantastic way to get our children and young people physically active. This perfectly complements our healthy eating agenda and has knock-on effects on social and mental health as well as behaviour and achievement too.

“It is also a privilege to be kicking off my training towards taking part in the London Marathon on 24th April by running with some of our young people who are already benefiting from an excellent physical education at St Mary’s and are enjoying The Daily Mile.”

The Mile’s origin stretches back to 2012, when staff at St Ninian’s Primary School in Scotland, were concerned about their pupils’ fitness levels. The headteacher decided to get the children to walk and/or run for 15 minutes, outside, everyday. Staff immediately saw the benefits of doing this, not only on pupil fitness but also with their behaviour and ability to stay focussed in class.

Bev Roberts, deputy headteacher at St Mary’s Primary School, said: "There was no question in our minds that we wanted to get involved. The Council guidance pack helped us at every step of the way, from deciding when and where to begin, how to involve staff and parents, measuring pupil progress and creating an awards system to recognise our schools’ involvement.”

St Marys’ involvement in the Daily Mile is part of a wider plan to get their pupils more physically active and eating a healthy diet, in addition to improving their emotional health and wellbeing. With support from the Council’s Healthy Schools Service, pupils now take part in regular cooking lessons, teaching them how to prepare simple, nutritious dishes and also have a successful food growing scheme.

In England a fifth of four-to-five-year-olds and a third of ten-to-eleven-year-olds are classed as overweight or obese. Physical inactivity is a major risk factor for obesity and school children in England are the least fit they have ever been due to their sedentary lifestyles.  Schools are now expected to play a greater role in encouraging healthy lifestyles from an early age to help instil positive behaviour that will be continued into adulthood.

The Daily Mile isn’t limited to schools: any organisation in Dudley borough that is keen to be involved can be sent a guidance pack on developing a workplace wellbeing programme and be supported to organise it.


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