Athletics Ireland is to act as the hub for the promotion and development of The Daily Mile initiative which was launched in Ireland this week on a pilot basis ahead of a full rollout in September.
The initiative, developed in Scotland in 2012, encourages children at primary school level to walk or run for 15 minutes a day. So simple and yet so effective and the programme is now taking place in 3,200 schools across the UK, reaching over 500,000 young children and enabling structured but fun physical activity.
Evidence has shown that The benefits of this fun and free physical activity are numerous, improving children’s physical and mental health and wellbeing, their focus in class, and their fitness levels.
The Daily Mile in Ireland is being promoted first in collaboration with Local Authorities and Sports Partnerships, who will pilot The Daily Mile during May and June in Dublin City, Fingal, Kerry and Galway.
It will be promoted to Primary Schools across the country when the school year resumes in September.
“We are delighted to be leading this wonderful new Primary Schools initiative that can make a great impact on the fitness, health and general wellbeing of school children all over Ireland,” said Athletics Ireland President, Georgina Drumm
“Athletics Ireland is fully committed to encouraging all Primary Schools to embrace The Daily Mile. We have already seen in Primary Schools like St Brigid’s in Castleknock that the impact can be transformational – improving not only children’s fitness but also their concentration levels, mood, behaviour and general wellbeing.”
Athletics Ireland CEO John Foley also welcomes The Daily Mile and believes that it can forge a long-lasting legacy for teachers, children and parents – as well as Athletics Ireland.
“I want to thank Irish Runner editor Frank Greally for first bringing The Daily Mile initiative to my attention and it pleases me greatly to see that Athletics Ireland now will be the driver of what is a profoundly simple yet effective concept through which primary-aged children run or walk for 15 minutes each day,” Foley said.
“I am also happy that Frank Greally will now act as an Ambassador for The Daily Mile – bringing his enthusiasm and passion to bear on making it a great success in every county in Ireland.”
Elaine Wyllie, the founder of The Daily Mile in Scotland in 2012 was over in Ireland for the launch and is pleased to be working in partnership with the different organisations involved.
“here has been an amazing response from schools and I am looking forward to seeing it embraced across the country.”
“I must also thank Athletics Ireland and the Minister of State for Tourism and Sport, Brendan Griffin, for their passion and commitment to The Daily Mile. Their hard-work will allow The Daily Mile to blossom in Ireland and even more children be given the opportunity to improve their health and wellbeing”
“I think this is a really great idea and I wish it every success,” added Griffin.
“This initiative is all about improving the fitness of the children and it sets out to do this in a way that no child feels excluded. There is no focus on winning or competition between the children, there is no cost involved in terms of equipment or sports kit but the benefits of the children being out in the fresh air and simply having fun cannot be understated.”
“Sport Ireland is delighted to support The Daily Mile through the Local Sports Partnership network,” added John Treacy, Sport Ireland CEO. “This is an excellent example of collaboration between a National Governing Body for Sport and the Local Sports Partnerships at a local level and will get many children out and active, which is vitally important for their physical and mental health.”
Rob Hartnett of Sport for Business is Chairman of the Dublin City Council Sports and Wellbeing Partnership
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Image Credit: Eoin Noonan, Sportsfile