‘Mile a day’ campaign in schools, will it catch on?
A mile – whether you measure it as 1.6km or 5,280ft – may not seem far when you’re zooming down the motorway, but for a primary school pupil it can be a long way to walk or run. So why are primary schools in the UK being encouraged to add a mile-long run to their curriculum (officially or unofficially) each day? A scheme that has been popular in Scotland is now coming to the rest of the UK. Teachers are looking to do their bit in an attempt to help get our children up and exercising to be fitter to fight the scourge of obesity that is affecting so many, even at that young age. In June 2015, St Ninian’s Primary School in Stirling Scotland pioneered the mile a day scheme, unofficially adding 15 minutes each and every day, on top of their standard PE classes, to help improve the health of their pupils. With up to two-thirds of primary school children lacking the stamina needed to carry out basic fitness tasks, the school believes that this was “a perfect, and free, solution”. Today, up to 500 schools in Scotland and a further 200 in the rest of the UK are taking part in the mile a day scheme and its popularity is growing. What do you think about children being asked, in all weathers, to walk or run a mile a day? Do you think it’s too much to ask of them, or a step in the right direction for a generation more likely to sit for hours on their phones or tablets than to run around outside at play? At Caloo we think it’s a great idea, to make exercise and fitness fun, to normalise it through the school system, to encourage more children to be involved in activities that will keep them healthier for longer as they grow up. It is, after all, why we work with numerous schools to install outdoor playground equipment and fitness equipment, to help battle obesity, to make fitness fun, and to help children to enjoy their active play.