Hertfordshire school children set local record for The Daily Mile


Last week was one of activity and excitement for school pupils around the county, as collectively, they set a Daily Mile record.

On Friday 14th February more than 12,000 children and staff from over 60 Hertfordshire schools took part in an event organised by the Herts Sports and Physical Activity Partnership (HSP); the Active Partnership for Hertfordshire. Coined locally as ‘Hertfordshire does The Daily Mile’, eleven of the schools were selected to run alongside one of a team of athlete ambassadors, provided by HSP.

One of them, ‘401 Marathon Man’ Ben Smith visited Thorley Hill Primary School in Bishop’s Stortford. A huge advocate of using running to overcome mental health difficulties, Ben had spent the week delivering inspiring school assemblies – during which he described his own school days experiences of bullying – and supporting hundreds of children to run their Daily Mile.

Alex Varran, the Partnership’s Coordinator for The Daily Mile and organiser of the week’s events said: “To have had 12,000 children running on Friday morning was just incredible! We applaud the schools who got involved and shared their exploits through photos and videos on our social media channels; the sense of fun and enjoyment was palpable! More than 220 schools are now signed up to The Daily Mile in Hertfordshire, each showing they clearly understand the phenomenal benefits that being active every day bring to the classroom. The week’s activities have given huge exposure to the schools who participate, and hopefully encouraged those who aren’t currently involved, to get running.”

In welcoming the initiative HSP Partnership Director, John O’Callaghan commented:

“We were delighted that the athletes agreed to join us last week we are very grateful to them for sharing their remarkable journeys with the schools. Like all good programmes, the appeal of The Daily Mile is in its simplicity and I would urge all Headteachers within those schools that are yet to register for The Daily Mile, to get involved at the very earliest opportunity. It’s impact on reducing truancy, increasing attention levels and ultimately improving the attainment levels of our young people, is increasingly evidenced and that we have now reached a stage where almost half of Hertfordshire’s schools have registered for this initiative, is a fine achievement.”

For more information about The Daily Mile in Hertfordshire, or the week, contact Alex Varran at a.varran2@herts.ac.uk.

Below: The schools visited by athletes on Friday 14th February

Rachael Mackenzie St Adrians, St. Albans
Alistair Patrick-Heselton Hexton JMI School, Hitchin
Tom Davis Yewtree Primary School, Hemel Hempstead
Kate Grey Hunsdon JMI School, Hunsdon
Toby Garbett Trotts Hill Primary and Nursery School, Stevenage
Hannah Beharry Fair Field Junior School, Radlett
Tom Haffield Arnett Hills Junior & Mixed Infant School, Rickmansworth
Alex Slabinsky Panshanger Primary, Welwyn Garden City
Nicola Minichiello Jenyns First School and Nursery, Braughing
Steve Frew Sheredes Primary School, Hoddesdon
Rachel Laybourne  Richard Whittington Primary School, Bishop’s Stortford
Ben Smith Thorley Hill Primary School, Bishop’s Stortford

Press Release: New research confirms The Daily Mile improves children’s fitness levels


  • Research conducted by Swansea University found that The Daily Mile improved the fitness levels of deprived children as much as non-deprived children and can therefore address inequalities in health.
  • The study involved six primary schools in South Wales and concluded that The Daily Mile had a positive impact on children’s attitude towards physical activity and their feelings of happiness.
  • The Daily Mile, supported by INEOS, is one of the world’s largest health and fitness initiatives with over 10,900 schools across 78 countries now taking part.

Research led by Swansea University has revealed that The Daily Mile has a positive impact on children’s attitude towards physical activity and their feelings of happiness. Findings recently released, concluded that The Daily Mile improved the fitness levels of deprived children as much as non-deprived children and can therefore address inequalities in health. The study also found that the international fitness scheme improved pupils’ approach to group work and their social interaction with their peers and teachers.

The Daily Mile, supported by INEOS, was founded by Elaine Wyllie MBE when she was Headteacher of St Ninian’s Primary School in Stirling, in February 2012. Concerned about the lack of physical fitness displayed by the children, Elaine founded the fitness initiative with the simple aim of getting her pupils moving every day to improve their overall health and wellbeing. The Daily Mile has now been adopted by over 10,900 schools and nurseries in 78 countries, leading to over 2.3 million children running with The Daily Mile.

Six primary schools in South Wales took part in the study by researchers at Swansea University – in association with the HAPPEN Network – who spoke to schoolchildren, teachers and headteachers about their experience of The Daily Mile. The findings identified that The Daily Mile’s simple and flexible nature, delivered during curriculum time, incorporating personal goal setting, teacher participation, and whole-school delivery with community support, were all factors associated with pupils having a positive experience of the initiative.

Earlier this year, research led by the University of Birmingham found that The Daily Mile has a positive impact on body mass index, especially in girls, and is a cost-effective solution, particularly for girls. In addition, The Daily Mile has been previously referenced in research conducted by the Universities of Stirling, Edinburgh and Highlands & Islands in Scotland, the Mulier Instituut in the Netherlands, and the University of Torino in Italy.

The Daily Mile Foundation and INEOS are also in partnership with Imperial College London who are currently undertaking a 3 to 5 year study exploring the impact The Daily Mile has on children’s physical health and educational attainment.

Founder of The Daily Mile, Elaine Wyllie MBE, said: “I am delighted that this new study from Swansea University shows the positive impact The Daily Mile has on children. We are very pleased that the research recognised that The Daily Mile is important for improving both the physical and mental health of children. The simplicity of The Daily Mile makes it easy for teachers to tackle childhood obesity head-on and get their pupils fit for life.”

Lead researcher at Swansea University, Emily Marchant, said: “As part of our research we also wanted to see if the impact of The Daily Mile on children’s fitness differed between children living in poorer and wealthier areas. We found that deprivation didn’t matter – our findings seem to indicate that The Daily Mile can improve the fitness of all children. In addition, our research highlights the importance of schools involving pupils in their implementation.”




Media contacts

MediaZoo for The Daily Mile Foundation: Chris Hall chris.hall@mediazoo.tv – 07739 571 634

8th birthday of The Daily Mile

Today is the 8th birthday of The Daily Mile!

On this day in 2012, Elaine Wyllie MBE and the children at St Ninians Primary School ran the first ever Daily Mile. We are so grateful to every teacher, parent and partner who has made it possible for us to get 2.3 million children active with our initiative across 78 countries (so far!).

New Horizons Learning Centre (SEMH)
“They were all so proud of how they have improved”

Fact File

Where we’re based: South Gloucestershire, England

Roll: 61

Setting type: School for young people with Social Emotional and Mental Health needs (SEMH)

Our Daily Mile Story

Written by Caitlin, The Daily Mile Coordinator at Wesport

I first met the students of New Horizons back at the start of November 2019 when I went in to launch The Daily Mile. I did an assembly with the 15 students at the Courtney Road Campus, in which they asked lots of great questions, working out why The Daily Mile would be good for them and how often they would be doing it. We then all went outside and completed The Daily Mile together, teachers included.

Initially students were uncertain about The Daily Mile and some struggled to get involved. However, with perseverance, all students are now participating almost every day. This has led to an increase in fitness levels for many of the students.

The school have now been taking part in The Daily Mile around the playground for 3 months. Mr Lee; Primary Manager, has noticed many great benefits since implementing The Daily Mile. Not only improved fitness levels, but with students being more settled in the classroom, improved concentration, and some of the students’ self-esteem has improved. As well Jane Peters, the Intervention Lead also explained how the children are moving better during PE lessons and are calmer during the day. Furthermore, The Daily Mile has helped the students encourage their peers and form positive relationships with each other and staff.

I have loved being part of starting The Daily Mile at this setting; the children have been a pleasure and coming back after 3 months to see the impact was great. The improvement seen through my own eyes was lovely and they were all so proud of how they have improved. I look forward to seeing The Daily Mile develop more and hear how it’s helped within the school setting.

If you think The Daily Mile could be an initiative that would work in your school please drop me an email – caitlin.stephenson@wesport.org.uk

Morgans Primary School
“Children’s friendships have blossomed as children run and talk together”


Fact File

Where we’re based: Hertfordshire, England

Roll: 458

Our Daily Mile Story

Morgans Primary School have been completing The Daily Mile for six months on their all-weather track, with some specific year groups having done The Daily Mile for two years! We have found that since starting, the children are happier, and have improved self-esteem, concentration and focus in class.

Initially, we faced uncertainty from staff with concern over not having enough time in the school day to complete The Daily Mile! We secured funding for a track and introduced a whole school initiative to run. A run is now timetabled in for Years 5 & 6 to ensure they do run. Everyone runs as and when they feel is best during their school day but they do run!

We have also noticed that children share things with teachers during the run that they may not have done otherwise. Children’s friendships have blossomed as children run and talk together, The Daily Mile is inclusive to all – some walk, some run. Parents have commented on how much fitter their child has become. They have developed a love for running!

I teach in Reception and I introduced cubes for children to collect every time they completed a lap. The children then counted the number of cubes they collected which links to their math learning. We also produced graphs in the past to represent number of laps the children have run etc.

Our new all-weather running track was opened by Linford Christie, with the visit being organised by the Herts Sports Partnership. The track is fairly new so we will hopefully be able to arrange more events in the future. Cross Country club is using the track once a week. Morgans Mile is a whole school event that will take place in the Spring Term for parents to attend too.