Scotland’s Deputy First Minister John Swinney visits the first school to take up The Daily Mile, to welcome the Queen’s Baton Relay and show support for this world leading initiative.
The Queen’s Baton Relay today visited St Ninians Primary School in Scotland – the school where in 2012 headteacher Elaine Wyllie founded the internationally-acclaimed children’s health and wellbeing initiative, The Daily Mile.
Pupils and staff were joined by Elaine along with para-athlete Sammi Kinghorn, Minister for Public Health and Sport, Aileen Campbell, and Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Education, John Swinney, to welcome the baton. Children at the school participated in a very special Daily Mile as part of the world-renowned Queen’s Baton Relay.
John Swinney said: “I’m delighted to be back at St Ninians Primary School, where The Daily Mile began back in 2012, to encourage every school in Scotland to take part and fulfil our ambition of being the first Daily Mile nation.
“We have written to headteachers, heads of early years establishments and principals of further and higher education institutions to highlight the benefits of The Daily Mile, not just to physical and mental health but to raising attainment levels and improving relationships between pupils and teaching staff.”
The Scottish government are firmly behind The Daily Mile movement, and have pledged to roll it out across all primary and nursery schools in Scotland. The initiative has already been adopted by more than 1,000 primary schools across the country. With the benefits including increased physical fitness, and even raised attainment, this can only be a good thing for the future of the nation.
The initiative has been so well-received that the Scottish Government has pledged to make Scotland the world’s first ‘Daily Mile nation’ with the movement making its way into universities and workplaces, too. This morning, heads of Early Years, Higher and Further Education received a signed letter from the Deputy First Minister, John Swinney, the Minister for Public Health and Sport, Aileen Campbell, and Scotland’s Chief Medical Officer, Catherine Calderwood, encouraging them to take up The Daily Mile initiative, and confirming the involvement of Sir Andy Murray as an ambassador of UK movement.
Following on from the success of The Daily Mile in her own primary school in 2012, Elaine went on to win a Pride of Britain Award for her inspiring efforts to increase children’s health and wellbeing, and then founded The Daily Mile Foundation with the help of sponsor INEOS in 2016. The Daily Mile sees children run or jog for 15 minutes per day at school, at a time of the class teacher’s choosing, in which time most children will average a mile distance. The initiative has spread across the UK and the rest of the world with over 3,000 schools now taking part – that’s more than half a million children moving more and feeling better every day.
Minister for Public Health and Sport, Aileen Campbell, commented: “This simple and effective concept can help us to reduce health inequalities and to reduce the impact on our NHS.
“It’s brilliant to see the children here doing their Daily Mile with the Queen’s Baton, and I hope the run up to the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games – as well as the Glasgow 2018 European Championships – will inspire them to try out different sports and activities.”
Delighted by the presence of the baton at her former school, Wyllie commented: “I’m honoured that St Ninians Primary School were selected to take part in the relay. This is where it all started and I couldn’t be more proud of Scotland, and our other international partners, for embracing The Daily Mile so wholeheartedly.
“Because of this, children will grow up with healthier habits and it’s going to change lives.”
St Ninians Primary School is in good company; as an iconic symbol of the Commonwealth Games, the Queen’s Baton Relay begins at Buckingham Palace before making its way some 142,915 miles around the world. The baton arrived in last year’s host city, Glasgow, on 22 August and will be spending five days in Scotland before continuing on its long journey to Australia to mark the beginning of The Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games.
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