Five million children involved in The Daily Mile

The scheme was launched in 2012.

Children around the world take part in The Daily Mile
Children around the world take part in The Daily Mile (Ian West/PA)

More than five million children around the world are now taking part in a health initiative started by a Scottish headteacher, The Daily Mile Foundation has announced.

The Daily Mile, launched in 2012, involves classes heading outside to run, wheel or walk around their school grounds for 15 minutes every day.

It has grown from 30 children in one Scottish school to more than five million children across 20,000 schools in 96 countries today.

The foundation said that research has shown the initiative can significantly enhance children’s fitness, heighten their alertness, and boost concentration levels in class.

Elaine Wyllie, who came up with the idea in 2012 when she was headteacher of St Ninian’s Primary School in Stirling, said she is pleased the scheme has reached so many children.

She said: “Today we are recognising the tremendous milestone of five million children worldwide engaged in The Daily Mile at their schools.

“However, it is the teachers and pupils who get outside every day to enjoy their Daily Mile and the stories about the positive impacts on their lives that we are really celebrating.

“I am immensely proud of the achievements of schools, teachers and children over the past 12 years, and the role that we at The Daily Mile Foundation and our partners have played in supporting this.

“And we still have work to do. We are committed to our vision of a world where every child can enjoy the benefits of physical activity.

“We want more schools, teachers, parents, and children to establish daily physical activity as a core part of their school day, ensuring our children become healthier, happier, and better learners.”

The initiative is called The Daily Mile as children tend to run a mile on average during the 15 minutes, however the distance is not compulsory.

It aims to help all children, no matter their age, ability, or personal circumstances, enjoy being active every day, become fitter and healthier now, and develop healthy habits for a lifetime.

One teacher from Escola Basica da Moita in Portugal, said: “We started The Daily Mile in September 2022, with 250 children taking part, and we’ve not stopped since.

“By doing The Daily Mile every day, we’ve noticed the children show greater motor development, concentration, and attention in class.

“The children are usually the ones who remind the teachers that it’s time for The Daily Mile.

“The kindergarten teachers and children really enjoy The Daily Mile, and it is now just part of our daily routine.”

The Daily Mile has been adopted by schools across the world, including in the United Kingdom, Ireland, the United States, Canada, New Zealand, and South Africa among others.