Hundreds of primary school children in Dundee have participated in the first global ‘Daily Mile’.
The initiative, started by former headteacher Elaine Wylie in Stirling, sees children walk, run or roll a mile during the school day to help improve their physical and mental health.
Since it started eleven years ago, more than four million children from 90 countries around the world have signed up to the scheme, with many taking part in the first worldwide mile.
Ms Wylie told STV News: “We are so proud of the success of the Daily Mile over the past 11 years, and we want to keep this momentum going with the launch of this annual event, World Daily Mile Day.
“We have seen first-hand the benefits that the Daily Mile has on children’s physical, mental and social health and this event is designed to encourage children around the world to take part.
“I’m hoping it has a long-term effect on children’s health and wellbeing, their physical and mental health, and that people realise that – in 15 minutes a day – children average a mile, and they can do it while making their health much better.”
While the mile isn’t a race, first across the finishing line was 11-year-old Lewis from Rosebank Primary School, who said taking part in the Daily Mile has helped encourage his love of running.
Olympian Eilidh Doyle is an ambassador for the charity and hopes it will encourage children to stay active throughout their life.
She said: “The good thing about the Daily Mile is it becomes part of their routine, it becomes an understanding of this is what we do every day we just go out and do our daily exercise.
“It’s just a mile we can run, we can walk, we can roll, we can chat with our friends and I think that’s a really important thing.
“It introduces children to being physically active but it’s that sort of fun easy side of it and hopefully they have really great experiences which means in later life they’ll want to carry on doing exercise and carry on being physically active.”
Maree Todd, minister for social care, mental wellbeing and sport, said: “We are bucking the global trend. In Scotland we are becoming gradually more active, where as other countries in the western world are becoming less active.
“Now that isn’t any reason to rest on our laurels because we know the health of the nation needs to be improved and we know simple things like building in a Daily Mile to the school day can set up a habit for life.”