Suffolk children run the distance from Shotley to Tokyo ahead of Olympics
- Credit: Shotley Primary School
Children at a Suffolk school have covered the distance from Shotley to Tokyo ahead of the Olympic Games.
Youngsters at Shotley Primary School were given the challenge by the school's sports coach, Jo Hazelton, as part of their Daily Mile.
The national initiative aims to get children walking, jogging or running a mile at school every day to help boost their physical and mental health, as well as focus, behaviour and attainment.
In all, the children from Reception up to Year 6 ran a total of 31,516 laps of the school's playing field – a distance of 5,580 miles.
The laps were tallied up each day and every week the whole school was given an update on how many miles had been banked.
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Ms Hazelton said: “We had the route marked out on the school field during the summer holidays last year.
“We thought what better way to encourage the children to take part than set them a challenge.
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“And it was the perfect opportunity to teach them about the Olympic Games.
“It’s really inspired them and despite the lockdown when there were far fewer children in school, we have reached our goal before the end of the academic year.”
To celebrate crossing the finishing line, the youngsters took part in an Olympic ceremony, waving the flags of countries taking part in this year’s games.
Ms Hazelton added: “It was a phenomenal effort and I’m so proud of how engaged all the children were.
“The staff have really noticed a difference in the children’s fitness which meant that many of the school running records were broken today during their sports day.
“It’s been a real achievement. Now it’s time to think about raising the bar for next year’s challenge!”
The Olympic Games, delayed from last year due to the coronavirus pandemic, are due to begin in Tokyo on Friday, July 23.
A number of Suffolk athletes are set to represent Team GB in Japan, including former Ipswich schoolboy Ethan Waddleton in the rugby 7's tournament and Ipswich hockey trio Hannah Martin, Harry Martin and George Pinner.
The Paralympic Games are due to begin on August 24.