Key target to involve all 32 local authorities is met.
Scottish children have stepped their way into the history books as the country is confirmed as the world’s first Daily Mile Nation.
Around 187,000 school children in all of Scotland’s local authority areas are getting active for at least fifteen minutes a day meeting the criteria agreed with the Daily Mile Foundation.
More than half of primary schools are now signed up to the Daily Mile.
The initiative is proven to improve the wellbeing of children across the country, as part of wider efforts to improve overall health and reduce the pressure on the NHS over winter.
It was started by former Head Teacher Elaine Wyllie of St Ninian’s Primary in Stirling in 2012 and has grown every year – extending beyond schools into communities and workplaces and encouraging more people in Scotland to get on the move.
The Scottish Football Association is backing the initiative using its extensive network of community clubs to promote the role of physical activity in health and wellbeing.
Public Health Minister Maree Todd said:
“We want Scotland to become a nation where more people are more active, more often.
“The benefits of instilling these habits early are plain to see – children will see the joy of walking, running or wheeling which will boost their health in the long term, and reduce the strain on our NHS.
“I try to do a Daily Mile whenever I can and there is no doubt I always feel better for it.
“I consider this initiative to be one of Scotland’s best exports – building on our success, other home nations and countries around the world are now embracing The Daily Mile initiative. Scotland continues to lead the way on a global scale.”
Daily Mile UK Partnership Manager Fiona Paterson said:
“In our joint strategy published in 2020, The Daily Mile Foundation and the Scottish Government set out the key targets which would signify that Scotland could be recognised as the world’s first Daily Mile nation.
“We are delighted to announce that these targets have been met and that the foundations have been laid for further work to continue to embed the INEOS backed Daily Mile across the country’.
Ms Wylie said:
“From one school in Stirling to Scotland to becoming a Daily Mile Nation, I am incredibly proud of all the schools, teachers and children that have helped us achieve this milestone and I would like to take this opportunity to thank them and our partners across Scotland.
“The Daily Mile was created by children which I truly believe is why it has been so successful and is now reaching nearly 4 million children around the world.”
Scottish FA Chief Executive Ian Maxwell said:
“The Scottish FA recognises the unique reach of football and the importance that physical activity can play in the health and wellbeing of children and young people in this country, and we are thrilled to support this initiative as Scotland becomes the world’s first Daily Mile Nation.
“Opportunities to exercise on and off the pitch should be available to everyone and through our network of community football clubs and local partners, we are ready to play our part and use the power of football to inspire the country to become more active.”