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Thousands of children join the Daily Mile as number of schools taking part reaches 41

Children at Britannia Primary School take part in their first Daily Mile of the year  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Children at Britannia Primary School take part in their first Daily Mile of the year Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

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Thousands of Suffolk schoolchildren are getting an energetic boost each day thanks to the Daily Mile - as the number of schools taking part reaches 41.

Pupils at Britannia Primary School have taken up the Daily Mile challenge Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNPupils at Britannia Primary School have taken up the Daily Mile challenge Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

The scheme, which challenges youngsters to run or walk a mile as part of every school day, has seen a surge in support since it was launched in May last year.

Colin Grogan, Suffolk County Council’s sport, health and development manager, said the project has been a huge success, urging more schools to get on board.

He said: “There are 41 schools now registered as of July 18, before the schools broke up.

“There had been an increase from 17 schools at the start of the school year so it’s really going from strength to strength.

Wells Hall Primary school launched its Daily Mile as part of Sport Relief in March. Picture: GREGG BROWNWells Hall Primary school launched its Daily Mile as part of Sport Relief in March. Picture: GREGG BROWN

“It fits in with the East Anglia Go Kids campaign and also the development of all the running events in he county.

“At the weekend we saw children out on the Great East Run course spectating and giving the runners high fives.

“I hope that they will be inspired to take part when they get old enough.

“The Daily Mile not only provides physical activity but can help them concentrate and improve their academic attainment.

Jim Cleaver, headteacher of Wells Hall Primary school, said he was a 'huge fan' of the Daily Mile. Picture: GREGG BROWNJim Cleaver, headteacher of Wells Hall Primary school, said he was a 'huge fan' of the Daily Mile. Picture: GREGG BROWN

“It is about keeping the mind active as well as the body,”

Jim Cleaver, headteacher at Wells Hall Primary School in Great Cornard near Sudbury, said although it is difficult to measure the success of the scheme objectively, anecdotally it has made a big difference.

He said: “The Daily Mile provides a mental break for them during the day.

“I think one of the nice things is we don’t have a fixed time for it.

“The teachers know the expectation that at some point every day they will go out and walk or run the mile.

“They can work out whether that fits in with their learning so they can go out, have a break and come back fresh.

“We offer a minimum of two hours a week in physical education so the children get an extra 15 minutes of exercise daily on top of the sports they play.”

“It is really hard to quantify its effect, a lot of our evidence is anecdotal, but I am a huge fan of it.

“We have become so much more sedentary as a society so if we can get the children into the habit of the daily mile, hopefully that is something they can continue.”

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