Perth Olympian Eilidh Doyle is backing a campaign encouraging thousands of school pupils to be more active.
The Olympic medallist – and Scotland’s most decorated track and field athlete – wants schools across the country to get involved in the Scotland Does The Daily Mile challenge.
The initiative has been organised by The Daily Mile Foundation – which encourages children to run or jog for 15 minutes each day – and will take place on June 18.
Every school in Scotland is invited to take part, with over 40% of schools in the country already signed up to The Daily Mile.
The event also marks the finale of a six week challenge which began on May 10, dubbed #TravelToTokyo.
This encourages teams of children to run, jog or wheel the distance from Scotland to Tokyo, learning about different countries along the way, in celebration of the Tokyo Olympics this summer.
We hope all Scottish schools participating have lots of fun! @ActiveScotGov 🏃♀️👩🦽🏃♂️
— The Daily Mile UK (@_thedailymile) May 10, 2021
Eilidh said: “I’m delighted to be the ambassador for The Daily Mile in Scotland and support this project as I think it is a really positive initiative to get young people more active.
“It’s fantastic to see so many schools signed up so far and I’d urge as many schools as possible to get involved.
“I’m excited to be endorsing this programme because I feel passionately that youngsters should be given the opportunity to be active and that hopefully starts out at primary school.
“Exercising with friends is so much fun and being active from a young age has many benefits.”
“The past year has been challenging for everyone”
The Daily Mile currently has over three million children running a daily mile across 12,000 schools in 80 countries but next month’s event will be the first of its kind in Scotland.
The hope is to capture the camaraderie that children have missed while schools have been closed, providing young people the opportunity to be active, and have fun with their friends.
Elaine Wyllie, founder of The Daily Mile, said: “Getting our children active is more important than ever, and it is very encouraging to see so many schools already signed up to The Daily Mile in Scotland.
“The past year has been challenging for everyone and we want to get that sense of community and fun back in our schools.”
“Children and young people have faced unprecedented challenges”
As well as being supported by Scottish Athletics, The Daily Mile Foundation is also backed by the Scottish Association for Mental Health (SAMH).
Robert Nesbitt, head of physical activity and sport at SAMH, highlighted the the importance physical exercise for mental wellbeing.
Getting our children active is more important than ever.”
Elaine Wyllie, founder of The Daily Mile.
He said: “Over recent months children and young people have faced unprecedented challenges; with disruption to their routines, changes in their education and time away from their family and friends, which we know has affected their wellbeing and mental health.
“Now that schools have returned, physical activity is a brilliant way for children and young people to get involved and feel connected again, which is why SAMH is delighted to support The Daily Mile initiative, which encourages young people to come together to get active and in turn develop vital connections with their peers and teachers.”