The Ministry for Education and Employment and the Centre for Physical Education and Sport, in collaboration with The Daily Mile Foundation, have launched The Daily Mile initiative in Maltese schools.
Aiming to increase children’s daily physical activity, this initiative is intended to develop positive health behaviours in children and to contribute towards a whole school approach to a healthy lifestyle.
Recent research has shown that only 24% of Maltese 10-11 year olds meet the recommended hour of daily moderate to vigorous physical activity, and that 40% of all Maltese children are overweight or obese. Therefore, there is an urgent need to increase levels of activity, and schools are an ideal place for the implementation of new initiatives.
The Daily Mile initiative was started in the UK and aims to improve the physical, social, emotional and mental health and wellbeing of children. This initiative is very easy to implement and fun to do, and only takes 15 minutes. At any time during the school day, the teacher takes the class to the yard for a jog or run. Most children cover a mile in 15 minutes, while some children do more and others less. There is no need for a warm up or to change into the school PE kit. It is neither Physical Education, nor a competition, and everyone can participate at their own pace, irrespective of his or her ability. After The Daily Mile, children are more focused and concentrate more in the classroom. When interviewed, children said that they enjoy The Daily Mile and that it makes them fitter, and happier at school, while giving them a short break from the long period of sitting in class.
The Daily Mile was introduced in Malta three months ago, and 35 schools have already joined this initiative, with thousands of children already getting an extra 15 minutes of daily physical activity, while improving their fitness and health.
Elaine Wyllie, founder of The Daily Mile and former primary school head teacher, said “It is wonderful to see such commitment to The Daily Mile round the world. This launch shows Malta leading the way in the Mediterranean and are committed to helping your children sustainably improve their health and well-being.”
Given the benefits of The Daily Mile, and being such a simple concept, more schools are urged to join this initiative. The Daily Mile is mainly targeted at primary schools, however various middle and secondary schools have also introduced it, and it can also be extended to the workplace, particularly before working hours or during breaks.
Photographs courtesy of DOI – Omar Camilleri
The Daily Mile: Joseph Wade (+44) 207 384 6980 – (+44) 7758 074 576
The Daily Mile in Malta: Andrew Decelis – firstname.lastname@example.org