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10,000 pupils embark on their challenge to ‘trot around Europe’!

Gloucestershire Daily Mile launch at Cheltenham Racecourse, 27th April 2017

10,000 pupils from 43 primary schools have signed up to walk, jog or run a mile every day between now and the summer holidays as part of Active Gloucestershire’s Daily Mile initiative.

The initiative is being supported by Cheltenham Racecourse, NHS Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), Gloucestershire Public Health and Hartpury College. Pupils, teachers and guests will get the scheme officially underway by walking, running or jogging a mile at the Racecourse.

“Our ambition is to improve children’s health and wellbeing through regular activity and spending time in the fresh air every day”, said Tom Hall, Head of Education at Active Gloucestershire – leading the initiative across Gloucestershire.

“We are absolutely delighted that so many schools, teachers and pupils have signed up to the challenge and are really excited about getting it underway”, he continued.

“A short exercise break from curriculum can bring so many benefits to both pupils and teachers by helping children to be healthier, more productive and alert.

Although the initiative gets underway this week, it’s not too late for other schools to join – if you are one such school, please do get in touch and join us. We are working with schools to increase daily physical activity levels for all pupils and teachers in a realistic and sustainable way.

The Daily Mile is non-competitive, fully inclusive, free and fun, and has many benefits for children. Schools who have already taken part have reported improved confidence and better focus in lessons amongst pupils, and parental evaluations are consistently and overwhelmingly positive”.

Active Gloucestershire has challenged schools to collectively “trot” around a virtual route of Europe by the end of the summer term. Children can do this by going on an educational journey with School Games mascot ‘Old Spot’ on his ‘European trot’. All schools that successfully complete the route will be entered into a draw to win the chance to complete their mile with Old Spot, or a local sporting celebrity.

With childhood obesity rates rising, encouraging physical activity at an early age is important, and research has shown that children who are overweight in primary school are less likely to revert to a healthy weight in later life.

Dr Andy Seymour, Clinical Chair at the CCG which is supporting the scheme, said:

“The Daily Mile is a great initiative, and I wholeheartedly encourage primary schools to participate.

It is such a simple, accessible and enjoyable initiative, but one that provides massive public health benefits and protects the future health of the county’s young people.

We are pleased to be working with health partners to introduce this into schools across Gloucestershire.”

The scheme is easy to implement and is fun for both pupils and teachers. Schools which sign up will have full support from Active Gloucestershire throughout the summer term.

The Daily Mile initiative is part of Active Gloucestershire’s Active Schools programme, kindly supported by Gloucestershire CCG, Gloucestershire Public Health, Hartpury College and Cheltenham Racecourse.

For further information or to sign up, please click on Daily Mile at http://www.activegloucestershire.org/making-activity-happen/for-schools/primary-premium/daily-mile.php or contact tomhall@activegloucestershire.org

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