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Welsh Athletics partners with The Daily Mile

22/09/2021 00:00, I Mewn Blog / School News /

As part of an exciting new partnership, Welsh Athletics – as well as UK Athletics, Athletics Northern Ireland, England Athletics and Scottish Athletics - has entered into a formal partnership with The Daily Mile. These partnerships will emphasise a shared commitment from the organisations across the UK, striving to demonstrate the beneficial role that physical activity plays in health – both physical and mental, for children and young people.

The partnership is being launched today, Thursday 23rd September, in a event celebration between the two organisations. The union will help bring ambassadors together, from Olympic and Paralympic athletes to key people from the athletics community – inspiring both young people and teachers to get involved and become a part of The Daily Mile community.

James Williams,​​ Chief Executive of Welsh Athletics comments,

Welsh Athletics are looking forward to working with The Daily Mile alongside our colleagues in the other home nations and partners here in Wales, to encourage and support more schools in Wales to adopt The Daily Mile into their school days.

We have set ourselves the ambitious target of getting 100% of schools in Wales to provide opportunities for children to be active through athletics and running – being active daily and developing the fundamental movement skills of running, jumping and throwing are key to ensuring all children develop into physically and mentally healthy and resilient adults - and we are determined to play our part in ensuring this is the case for current and future generations in Wales.”

The Daily Mile is a transformative initiative where children run, jog, wheel or walk for fifteen minutes every day. The initiative has enjoyed phenomenal success since it was started by Elaine Wyllie eight years ago when she was headteacher at a primary school in Stirling.

Elaine Wyllie MBE, founder of The Daily Mile has commented,

‘I’m delighted that we will be working together with UKA and the Home Nations. This is an exciting new partnership for The Daily Mile working with leading governing bodies to promote the physical and mental health benefits of The Daily Mile. I am particularly excited about a focus on inclusion and ensuring children with a disability are provided with the opportunity to participate. It is important to me that irrespective of age, ability or background The Daily Mile is accessible to all and is fun for all. This partnership will help us deliver this ambition.’

Sport and physical activity have an important role to play when discussing mental and physical wellbeing, both which have suffered immensely during the last 18 months. As the country continues to respond to the challenges and effects of the pandemic, and it’s crucial to appreciate the role of this in the long-term recovery of the virus.

Collaborative working is at the forefront of this partnership between The Daily Mile and Welsh Athletics. The bringing together of these teams will result in a greater focus on physical activity and sport, as part of a national initiative towards positive health and wellbeing for primary aged children.

Inclusivity and accessibility has always been at the heart of The Daily Mile – getting young people involved regardless of ability. The Daily Mile and Welsh Athletics are committed to supporting schools and teachers in providing opportunities for children with a disability to participate, so ensure they’re able to enjoy all of the benefits of physical activity. The focus is always on the child’s ability, and appropriate adjustments or modifications can be made to ensure a positive experience.

Support comes from John Bradley, Principal Public Health Practitioner who has commented 

‘Public Health Wales welcomes any action that seeks to increase the amount of time children and young people are active during the school day.  Achieving change will require the engagement and support of a wide range of agencies and organisations and the contribution of Welsh Athletics is a welcome addition.’

The Daily Mile and Welsh Athletics are also delighted to have the support of Brian Davies, Chief Executive of Sport Wales,

“Providing lots of opportunities for all children to regularly be active is more important now than ever in supporting health and overall wellbeing. This partnership is another example of the determination of Welsh Athletics to contribute to an active nation. Initiatives such as the Daily Mile, which look to provide simple, easily accessible and inclusive opportunities, in a fun setting can play a big part in helping to build physical activity into daily habit.”