Since the start of this term pupils and staff at Jurby Community school have been running a mile every day. After reading an article that appeared in the National Press, regarding a Primary school in Scotland introducing an initiative for children to take part in a daily mile run, several of the Staff at Jurby Community School were very keen to give this innovative idea a try, especially as it claimed to improve the behaviour as well as the fitness of the children. It was reported to be a common-sense approach to children's fitness, which is free and easy, only takes fifteen minutes and would improve the health, fitness, and children’s concentration in class.
With the Head Teacher’s backing, a course was measured around the large school field, and without further delay everyone threw themselves into the undertaking with gusto! It has proved to be a very popular whole-school commitment with all children and teachers taking part. The children have commented that ‘It is fun’, and that they ‘enjoy it as it makes you fit’ and that they have ‘gained confidence’ in their ability to succeed. Many of them hope to continue the activity in the school holidays as well. By working together the potential for long term benefits to health and the immediate boost to feelings of well-being is proving to be a win-win situation and certainly well worth the effort!
The World Health Organization considers childhood obesity to be one of the most serious global public health challenges of the 21st century, so as part of a drive to combat childhood obesity five hundred Primary schools across Britain have adopted the Mile-a-day scheme with schools in London, Gateshead, Wales and Scotland, already taking part, it is hoped that other schools in the Isle of Man will follow Jurby’s pro-active lead in embracing the scheme.
For any other school thinking of giving it a try the aim is to complete a daily mile, children do NOT have to run they just have to try to cover a mile by walking, jogging or running for 15 minutes. If they don't finish the course in 15 minutes that is fine, it's not intended to be competitive - merely that they should be aerobically active for one mile, or 15 minutes each day. Hopefully they will enjoy the challenge and, as they become fitter, will see a positive improvement in their personal performance.
Let’s hope we will all soon be witnessing the results of happier, healthier children (and staff!).