On an overcast, chilly, Monday morning, there was no evidence of any sluggishness or a lack of motivation at Monkstown Educate Together National School.
The enthusiasm was infectious from teachers and students alike as everyone took their turn to participate in the morning exercise. One of the teachers said that they tried to get out nearly first thing every morning as it was a great way of burning off a bit of excess energy to help everyone to focus on school work for the hours that followed.
With an increasing number of primary schools participating in “The Daily Mile” across the county of Dun Laoghaire Rathdown, the initiative is proving a big hit. Children of all ages and abilities are getting out on a daily basis for some exercise during the school day.
An impressive twenty eight schools have since come on board and many of them met at the launch on the 8th December 2016 to learn more about the initiative, find out what might work best for their schools and also officially launch The Daily Mile in Dun Laoghaire Rathdown. The session included a Skype chat with Sheila Jennings the Principal in Lehinch National School and her pupils about their experiences doing the Daily Mile since September.
The Daily Mile is successful because it is simple and free:
- It takes place over just 15 minutes, with children averaging a mile each day.
- Children run outside in the fresh air – and the weather is a benefit, not a barrier.
- There’s no set up, tidy up, or equipment required.
- Children run in their uniforms so no kit or changing time is needed.
- It’s social, non-competitive and fun.
- It’s fully inclusive; every child succeeds, whatever their circumstances, age or ability.
Shane McArdle, Coordinator with Dun Laoghaire Rathdown Sports Partnership stated at the launch “we are delighted that so many local schools are taking part in this brilliant initiative and to be a partner in promoting The Daily Mile. It’s a great example of how something so simple can be so effective”.
Caroline Mahon, Schools Health Promotion Officer at Blackrock Education Centre stated “with schools ideally placed to promote physical activity, the Daily Mile provides a simple and effective way of embedding activity into the every day. It has lots of benefits such as improving concentration levels, peer & teacher relationships and building self-esteem. It also helps schools reach broader goals with such initiatives as the Active Schools Flag or Health Promoting School Initiative, leading to that whole-school approach”.