Daily Mile steps out of BT Murrayfield

Scottish Rugby will welcome some special guests pitch-side at BT Murrayfield at half-time in Saturday’s Scotland v Argentina Autumn Test.

Some 45 pupils, boys and girls, from three Edinburgh primary schools, will take to the perimeter of the pitch to promote the “Daily Mile.”

The initiative, which started at St Ninians Primary School in Stirling in 2012, sees children run, jog or walk at their own pace for 15 minutes every day with the consequent boost to both their physical and mental health.

The lady who started Daily Mile, former St Ninians head teacher Elaine Wylie, has established the Daily Mile Foundation and, working in tandem with the Scottish Government, local authorities and others in both the public and private sector has seen the idea spread from Scotland to 55 countries across the world with over 1,300,000 children taking part.

The ground-breaking campaign has enjoyed success in Scotland with more than 40% of Scottish primary schools currently signed-up. On Saturday, the P6 children from Roseburn; St Joseph’s, Broomhouse; and Leith Walk Primaries, will be joined by Scottish Government Ministers Joe Fitzpatrick and Maree Todd and Mrs Wylie in the BT Murrayfield version of the daily mile.

Mr Fitzpatrick, Minister for Sport, Public Health and Wellbeing, said: “Scotland’s Daily Mile initiative is catching the imagination of the UK and beyond. We want Scotland to be the first ‘Daily Mile Nation’, with nurseries, colleges, universities and workplaces joining over 800 Scottish schools regularly taking part.

“I hope that the support from Scottish Rugby at the game will encourage even more schools and workplaces to sign up and reap the benefits of becoming more active, more often. Taking small steps by jogging, walking or running for 15 minutes, people can make huge changes to their health and wellbeing.”

Maree Todd, Minister for Children and Young People added: “I love my daily mile! I’ve been running it since Easter and I’m amazed at how easy it is to fit in every day. It takes hardly any time at all, it’s for everyone and you can do it anywhere. If I’m somewhere new it gives me a chance to explore.

“An unexpected pleasure for me has been watching the seasons change & feeling a strong connection with nature. By saying hello to fellow runners & walkers there’s a bit of friendly social contact too. All of that and I’m much fitter & healthier too. The daily mile is all gain and no pain – What’s not to like?”

Scottish Rugby’s ambassador and points’ record holder Chris Paterson said: “I am a big advocate of the Daily Mile.  I’ve seen the positive effect it’s had at my own kids’ primary school.

“As someone who studied PE teaching before turning professional, I’m passionate about supporting physical activity for everyone, especially at school.”