A Fife teacher who founded a simple fitness initiative says she has been “overwhelmed” after it emerged more than three million children worldwide are doing it.
Elaine Wyllie MBE, from Burntisland, has spoken of her pride after The Daily Mile Foundation confirmed it had signed up its 12,000th school committed to taking part in the life-changing children’s fitness scheme.
The Daily Mile, which was started by Mrs Wyllie in 2012 when she was headteacher at St Ninian’s Primary School in Stirling, involves classes heading outside to jog or run around the school grounds for 15 minutes every day, at whatever pace suits the child best.
And although it is named The Daily Mile, the distance is not compulsory, with the ethos of the scheme being of inclusivity, enjoyment, and self-improvement over time.
Mrs Wyllie’s idea has now been adopted by schools in nurseries in 79 countries, while The Daily Mile Foundation – which was set up to spread the fitness message – has relaunched #DailyMileAtHome resources to safely support families within Covid-19 restrictions to get outside and move together every day.
“I am overwhelmed to see that over three million children across 79 countries around the world are taking part in The Daily Mile,” she said.
“From a simple yet effective initiative launched at a school in Stirling it is amazing to see how it has grown.
“It’s an incredible milestone moment in our effort to make a difference to the lives of children on a global scale.
“I would like to give my sincere thanks to Ineos for its incredible support and to our inspiring team of partners in 79 countries who share our vision of helping children across the world to get fit for life with The Daily Mile.
“Being fit and active is so important for everyone’s physical and mental health.
“With lots of us being in another lockdown it can be hard to motivate yourself to stay active, but that is what is so good about The Daily Mile At Home – it is a simple, free and quick way to keep fit meaning that families can fit it into their busy days of working and homeschooling.”
The initiative has gone on to enjoy immense popularity and received high profile backing, with the Scottish and Welsh government citing their support, as well as support from Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham and sporting legends including Sir Andy Murray, Paula Radcliffe MBE, Sir Mo Farah and marathon record breaker Eliud Kipchoge.
The Daily Mile Foundation, in partnership with the Scottish Government, is also working on ambitious plans for Scotland to become the world’s first Daily Mile Nation.