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Four million children now taking part in The Daily Mile

The Daily Mile Foundation has announced that four million children in 90 countries worldwide are now taking part in The Daily Mile health and wellbeing initiative. Two million children are taking part in England alone. 

The initiative has received formal backing from the Scottish Government and, in 2022, Scotland was announced as the world’s first Daily Mile Nation, meaning over half of primary schools across all 32 local authorities are doing the Daily Mile, developing healthy habits for life.

The Foundation’s expanding network of partners in the UK, Europe, USA and beyond continues to focus on increasing the number of schools taking part. In England alone, partnerships with Sport England, supported by the National Lottery, ITV and London Marathon, have led to record engagement with The Daily Mile, resulting in over two million children participating. 

The Daily Mile initiative was founded by Elaine Wyllie MBE in 2012 – born out of a concern around children’s lack of physical fitness. Headteacher of St Ninians’s Primary School in Stirling, Scotland, at the time, Elaine got her pupils moving for 15 minutes every day to improve their overall health and wellbeing.

The Daily Mile, in partnership with ITV, created an advert to promote the benefits of The Daily Mile, which highlighted how it can contribute towards improved academic attainment, and encouraged more schools to join the initiative. 

Research shows the benefits of The Daily Mile for children’s physical health, mental wellbeing, and learning. Increased activity means increased fitness, helping children feel happier and supporting children’s focus and concentration in the classroom. Research by the Universities of Stirling and Edinburgh found that the success of the initiative lies in its core principles and ease of implementation. 

Sir Jim Ratcliffe, Chairman of INEOS (a Daily Mile supporter) says: 

“INEOS has supported the Daily Mile for years because it’s a free, simple, and effective way to improve children’s physical and mental wellbeing. It has been a natural fit for us to work with an initiative that is so passionate about helping more children enjoy exercise more often, and we look forward to its success as it continues to transform more lives around the world.”

Elaine Wyllie MBE, Founder of The Daily Mile says: 

“From a single school in Stirling to now over 16,500 schools and 4 million children, it is staggering to see how this initiative has grown into a global movement in a little over 10 years. Being active is key for everyone’s health and wellbeing.”

“I’d like to thank the children, teachers, schools and all of our partners in 90 countries who share our vision of helping children across the world to get fit for life. Reaching the 4 million milestone is a brilliant way for us to kick off the year and we’re excited to continue to make a positive impact on children’s lives in the years to come.”

If you want your school pupils to benefit from taking part in The Daily Mile, sign your school up here