How to introduce the Daily Mile Challenge at your school

balancing-beams-tt1Challenging children to walk or run a daily mile is a fun and simple way for schools to encourage children to be active and live a healthy lifestyle. It helps to introduce the concept that exercise shouldn’t be thought of as a chore, but instead a natural and fun part of everyday life. As well as this the Daily Mile Challenge is a great way of improving children’s fitness and helping the fight against childhood obesity. To help you to introduce this challenge to your school we’ve created this guide to provide everything you need to know about the Daily Mile Challenge.

What is the Daily Mile Challenge?

Aimed at primary and nursery schools, the Daily Mile Challenge is a simple concept that has been created to help improve children’s physical, social, emotional and mental health and wellbeing. The challenge was developed by Elaine Wyllie in 2012 and proved such an easy and cost effective way of improving children’s health that it began to be adopted by schools across the country. For schools the challenge is not only simple to implement, but on average only take 15 minutes to complete and provides a great way of breaking up the day to help children focus and concentrate better during classes.

Funding available

The Government has recognised the positive impact the Daily Mile Challenge has on children’s health and wellbeing that it now provides funding support to help schools install the facilities needed for the challenge. Schools with more than 17 pupils can receive £16,000 +£10 for every student, this funding can be applied for through the Sports Premium initiative.

Installing a Daily Mile Path

An easy way of implementing the challenge into your school is to install a Daily Mile Path. A dedicated path gives a visual representation of the mile making it easier for young children to understand the initiative. At Fenland Leisure we offer a range of Daily Mile Path surfaces that are available in a variety of colours, giving schools control of how they want the path to look. Our paths are made from weather resistant materials, meaning that no matter how wet or muddy it is children can stay on the path and complete the daily mile while remaining clean and dry. Opting for a brightly coloured surface is great for young children, as it helps to make following the path more fun and makes carrying out the challenge on a daily basis more appealing.

Keeping the daily mile fun

There are many ways to keep the Daily Mile Challenge fun and interesting for children. One way is to alternate how children can complete the mile, for example one day walk the mile while on another day combine running and walking. Another way to keep the challenge interesting and varied is to install equipment along the mile, for example balancing beams and rope bridges. These will help to break up the mile for children, as well as providing different forms of exercise along the route so that it challenges children’s fitness in a variety of ways.