School's initiative to help boost fitness

A local primary school has adopted an initiative in a bid to support their pupils to improve their fitness levels and develop healthy habits for life.

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Park Mead Primary School in Upper Dicker has introduced the ‘Daily Mile’ following the success of this initiative in a school in Scotland.

Head teacher Mrs Lizzie Field said: “For some time now, news headlines have flagged up the worrying trend of more and more children leading less healthy lifestyles.

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“The World Health Organisation regards childhood obesity as one of the most serious global public health challenges for the 21st century and a recent study found 23 per cent of British children were overweight. Health experts think all schoolchildren should be made to run or walk one mile each day, as part of the curriculum, to stem a rising tide of childhood obesity.

“Regular running or walking at school will mean children are more likely to carry on the habit during holidays and as adults. If children are taught these things at a young age, they learn and adapt.

“If you get them in the habit young, you get them for life.

“At Park Mead we wanted to improve the fitness, mental health, concentration, healthy habits and emotional resilience of all pupils and help parents to support their children to develop healthy life-long habits - and thus the Park Mead Daily Mile was born.”

At any time in the day the teachers take their classes out to run around the field or the playground. The activity only takes the whole class around 15 minutes. The children then return to class feeling energised and ready to continue their learning. Only the most extreme weather prevents the Daily Mile from taking place.

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The children will shortly be undertaking a sponsored run in order to raise funds towards the thousands of pounds needed to lay a path way around their field.

The school is interested in hearing from any local businesses that may be able to help them with the path way project. Please contact the school directly on 01323 844247 for more information.

Mrs Field added: “If we can make a difference in this simple way we are setting up our pupils with life-long habits which will reap major health benefits in the future.”

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