Daily Mile: Schools across the south join thousands taking part on first national day

Schools pupils across the south and south east have taken part in the first national day for the Daily Mile.

They're among students from across the country joining in with "England does The Daily Mile".

Organisers hope the event will encourage more young people to exercise and help with their overall wellbeing.

  • Sarah Gomme meets pupils at Springwell School in Southampton

In Southampton, pupils at Springwell School were able to complete the mile at whatever speed they felt comfortable.

The school caters for children with complex learning difficulties, but this routine event helps their ability to learn both in and out of the classroom.

Scott Hughes, who is the school's PE coach, said the Daily Mile was "an amazing tool...to get them active."

"We see a lot of benefits in [the pupils]," he said.

"Their fitness and their energy levels are raised, which is amazing.

"And once they've completed it, how much calmer it is in the classroom.

"Coming in, they've released all that energy...and they're more willing do the work with maths, english and so on."

  • Tony Green went to meet students at Great Chart Primary, Ashford

Pupils at Great Chart Primary in Ashford, Kent haven't been able to get together because of the pandemic.

But the staff team decided to bring back to the Daily Mile to coincide with the national event today (30 April), inspired by a fire drill last week.

Jenny Thomas, PE Lead at the school, said: "The children's faces were: oh my goodness where have all these other children come from?

"They actually hadn't seen any of the other bubbles because they have been separated.

"So we decided then that the warm up we did today would be a nice way for the children to see each other and also to get the motivation and excitement to get the daily mile back again."

  • What is the "Daily Mile"?

The Daily Mile says that it "is a social physical activity, with children running or jogging – at their own pace – in the fresh air with friends."

Organisers say that children can occasionally walk to catch their breath, if necessary, but should aim to run or jog for the full 15 minutes.

It was launched in 2012, and organisers say that there are over 3 million children running a daily mile aross 12,000 schools in 80 countries.

The Daily Mile adapted its programme during the pandemic to let pupils take part at home.

The foundation has also teamed up with mental health charity Place2Be to offer free resources to schools to support our young people’s mental health.

Catherine Roche, Chief Executive of children’s mental health charity Place2Be, said: “As pupils and staff settle back into school routines, it’s a crucial time to focus on supporting wellbeing and building up their resilience.

"It’s important to get moving!

"Encouraging children to take part in physical exercise is one great way to promote positive ways to look after mental wellbeing."