Funding to help children get active

Our £1.5 million investment aims to get all primary schools in England involved in the fitness programme

17 December 2018 News

The Daily Mile is aiming to increase children's activity levels as we invest £1.5 million of National Lottery money in the groundbreaking scheme.

Earlier this month we published our first Active Lives Children and Young People report, which showed that more than 2.3 million children do fewer than 30 minutes of physical activity a day.

This new partnership with The Daily Mile will fund the recruitment of two national and 11 local coordinators, via the County Sports Partnership Network (CSPN), to support and encourage more schools in England to sign up – with a vision of helping all 20,000 primary schools in the country to take part in an active mile a day.

Less active children

A third of children in England do fewer than 30 minutes of physical activity a day

“Our Active Lives Children and Young People Survey is the strongest evidence yet that not enough is being done to support our youngsters and change is needed if we’re to increase activity levels,” said our chief executive Tim Hollingsworth.

“Through getting schoolchildren to walk or run for 15 minutes every day, The Daily Mile has been proven to significantly improve fitness levels.

“As part of our support of all active mile initiatives, we are delighted to be partnering with The Daily Mile Foundation and investing £1.5 million of National Lottery money into The Daily Mile.

“We want to take the initiative to even more primary schools across the county to improve the health of thousands more children.”

Founded by former headteacher Elaine Wyllie in 2012, The Daily Mile currently helps more than 3,500 English schools reach their daily activity target, with this new funding allowing for the biggest expansion in its history.

The concept is simple, with classes heading outside to jog or run around the school grounds every day, rain or shine, at whatever pace suits the child best.

Through getting schoolchildren to walk or run for 15 minutes every day, The Daily Mile has been proven to significantly improve fitness levels

Tim Hollingsworth, our chief executive

Taking just 15 minutes desk-to-desk, children engaging with the activity are reported to exhibit improved concentration in class, eat and sleep better at home and develop stronger bonds with their classmates and teachers.

“Since starting The Daily Mile six years ago, the progress we have made has been incredible,” said Elaine.

“With Sport England’s generous investment of National Lottery funding, The Daily Mile Foundation can continue to move closer towards our goal of every child in the UK being able to participate in The Daily Mile.”

Although named The Daily Mile, the strict distance does not have to be adhered to – although children tend to average running a mile in the given time – with the scheme being more about fostering a sense of inclusivity and enjoyment of physical activity.

“The Daily Mile is a great initiative that's fun and helps improve children's fitness and mental health,” said minister for sport and civil society, Mims Davies.

“We know that an active child is a happier child and this investment will mean many more young people can take part, enjoy themselves and inspire them to stay active.”