The Daily Mile, supported by INEOS, has entered an exciting new partnership with the athletics governing body, UK Athletics – as well as Athletics Northern Ireland, England Athletics, Scottish Athletics and Welsh Athletics. These partnerships emphasise a shared commitment from the organisations across the UK, helping to demonstrate the importance that physical activity plays in the physical and mental health and wellbeing of children and young people.
The partnership with UK Athletics was launched on Thursday 23rd September, in a celebration between the two organisations. The union will help bring ambassadors together, from Olympic and Paralympic athletes to key people from the athletics community – inspiring both young people and teachers to get involved and become a part of The Daily Mile community.
Mark Munro, Development Director at UK Athletics has commented, ‘We are delighted to be working with The Daily Mile Foundation which is a fantastic initiative. It is vital that everyone, e.g. individuals, schools, groups, and organisations recognise we all have a part to play and a responsibility for improving public health.
The Daily Mile is such a simple but effective way of promoting the importance of daily activity and improving the physical and mental health of children. Given the wider evidence of improved concentration and learning in the classroom with daily exercise there is no excuse for not integrating it into everyday life.
In a sporting context it makes even more sense for UK Athletics to actively promote the programme as schools and athletics clubs can build links so those children who really discover a love of running regularly can be supported to find their way into athletics. We’re looking forward to helping the Daily Mile grow even further with the aim that all schools will eventually see it as part of their daily routine and make a real difference to the physical and mental wellbeing of youngsters across the UK.’
The Daily Mile is a transformative initiative where children run, jog, wheel or walk for fifteen minutes every day. The initiative has enjoyed phenomenal success since it was started by Elaine Wyllie eight years ago when she was headteacher at a primary school in Stirling.
Elaine Wyllie MBE, founder of The Daily Mile has commented, ‘I’m delighted that we will be working together with UKA and the Home Nations. This is an exciting new partnership for The Daily Mile working with leading governing bodies to promote the physical and mental health benefits of The Daily Mile. I am particularly excited about a focus on inclusion and ensuring children with a disability are provided with the opportunity to participate. It is important to me that irrespective of age, ability or background The Daily Mile is accessible to all and is fun for all. This partnership will help us deliver this ambition.’
Sport and physical activity have an important role to play when discussing mental and physical wellbeing, both which have suffered immensely during the last 18 months. As the country continues to respond to the challenges and effects of the pandemic, and it’s crucial to appreciate the role of this in the long-term recovery of the virus.
Collaborative working is at the forefront of this partnership between The Daily Mile and UK Athletics. The bringing together of these teams will result in a greater focus on physical activity and sport, as part of a national initiative towards positive health and wellbeing for primary aged children.
Inclusivity and accessibility has always been at the heart of The Daily Mile – getting young people involved regardless of ability. The Daily Mile and UK Athletics are committed to supporting schools and teachers in providing opportunities for children with a disability to participate, so ensure they’re able to enjoy all of the benefits of physical activity. The focus is always on the child’s ability, and appropriate adjustments or modifications can be made to ensure a positive experience.