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500 Greater Manchester schools sign up for Daily Mile fitness pledge

The initiative encourages children to run, jog or walk for fifteen minutes every day to improve physical and mental health

In March 2018, Andy Burnham joined Elaine Wyllie, founder of The Daily Mile, and made the commitment for Greater Manchester to become the world’s first Daily Mile City-Region.

Today our region is one step closer to achieving that ambition, as 500 primary schools have now signed up across Greater Manchester.

The Daily Mile is an initiative where children run, jog or walk for fifteen minutes every day, in which time most people will average a mile or more.

Currently, Greater Manchester has some of the lowest levels of physical activity in the UK.

60.4% of children and young people are not meeting the Chief Medical Officer guidelines for physical activity, with 37.7% being classified as overweight or obese by the time they reach year six, according to the National Child Measurement Programme data, 2019/2020. 

Throughout the last two years, The Daily Mile has grown in popularity across the region as it has worked to tackle the low levels of physical activity, particularly amongst members of Greater Manchester’s youngest population.

In 2018, Greater Manchester marked its commitment to becoming the first Daily Mile City Region, aiming for all nurseries, schools, universities, and workplaces to adopt The Daily Mile.

“I’m delighted that 500 primary schools in Greater Manchester are now taking part in The Daily Mile,” said Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester.

“I want all young people to have the best start in life, and that’s why initiatives like The Daily Mile are so important to help ensure that all of Greater Manchester’s children have the opportunity to be physically active.

“I want to encourage all schools who aren’t yet signed up to get involved so that their students can benefit from the physical and mental health benefits that moving more can bring.

“Here in Greater Manchester we remain committed to becoming the world’s first Daily Mile City-Region, and I look forward to seeing the number of schools and other education settings taking part continue to grow.”

As Greater Manchester approached the 500 school milestone, GreaterSport ran a competition for school children to design a running jersey to celebrate the achievement.

Hundreds of children from across the city region sent in their designs, and the winning design selected by Daily Mile founder Elaine will be presented to its creator Freya Costello from Willows Primary School and to Andy Burnham.

The jersey will be able to sit alongside the Daily Mile plimsolls that Andy was presented with by Elaine in 2018.

“It is so exciting to see so many schools and children get involved in The Daily Mile and this Jersey Competition,” said Elaine.

“Community and wellness are so important at the moment and getting moving everyday can really help our mental health.

“With COVID-19 shutting schools again, staying physically and mentally healthy is more important than ever.

“I had so much fun picking the winner of the Jersey Competition and am just sorry I couldn’t pick more than one!

“We now have an amazing three million children running The Daily Mile and I hope to see ever more cities reach the milestone that Greater Manchester has!”

With the majority of children now being home-schooled due to the reintroduction of a national lockdown, The Daily Mile have updated and re-launched their #DailyMileAtHome resources to support families to keep moving safely.

The challenges help families to get outside and moving together each day to help look after their physical and mental health during these difficult times. You can find out more here.

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