Rochdale specialist school joins half a million across the the North-West in The Daily Mile’s first national event

  • Report by Granada Reports journalist Lucille Brobbey

A specialist school in Rochdale has taken part in The Daily Mile’s first ever national event. 

The initiative gets children out of the classroom running, walking or wheeling for 15 minutes - and is primarily aimed at school children.

It was started by a teacher in Scotland in 2012, but since then it has spread worldwide with three million children across 12,000 schools now running a mile a day.

At Springside School the pupils have learning difficulties and are in many different phases so they do not all take part outside.

But, they all try to take part and stay active in any way they can, with a self-regulating activity in the morning.

The children are among half a million children taking part in the Daily Mile’s first ever national event. 

Matthew Domville, the Greater Manchester DaiIy Mile Lead said: "The event is important because it just raises awareness of the importance of mental health, mental wellbeing, physical activity. 

“Not only just in local pockets of areas like Greater Manchester, but around England.”

Many children at Springside did not have access to specialist equipment such as a hoist or stander during lockdown, so for some the Daily Mile is a form of recovery.

Jane Mechen, Deputy Head Teacher at Springside School, says many facilities designed to help children at Springfield were closed while many of the pupils were also shielding. 

She said: “Children in the experiential phase - the ones with multiple learning difficulties - have high medical needs so they weren’t getting out and about like they would normally do and they would like to [in lockdown].”

Parents of those at Springside say the benefits of The Daily Mile on their children are clear to see.

Hamsa said: “Being out and exercising helps him because he feels better in himself when he does it and he likes to move, he doesn’t stand still a lot anyway so it was brilliant for him just to be back and just doing it again."

Jodie added: "It’s different when they come back into school because they’re having that time with their friends as well and they’re getting that time to share with the teachers and making more friends."

The student’s also spoke about what they liked about the 15-minute exercise.

Mustafa said: “I like that I show my speed and confidence to everybody else in the school.”

Amelia said: “It keeps my heart healthy and gives me energy.”

These children are an inspiration to other children across the nation and are a step, jog, wheel and walk closer to nature.