9th February 2022
A number of Executive Ministers have signed the pledge to make Northern Ireland a Daily Mile Nation at an event to mark Children’s Mental Health Week.
The Daily Mile encourages children to run, jog, wheel or walk at their own pace for one mile every day to improve their physical, social, emotional and mental health.
To mark Children’s Mental Health Week, 7th – 13th February, a number of children from local schools took part in The Daily Mile at the Stormont Estate and were joined by Ministers and MLAs, who then signed the pledge to mark Northern Ireland a Daily Mile Nation.
Founder of The Daily Mile Elaine Wyllie MBE and children from schools including Torr Bank Special School, Cregagh Primary School, St Teresa’s Nursery School and Mount St Michael’s Primary School, were joined by Infrastructure Nichola Mallon, members of the Education Committee and Lady Mary Peters to walk a mile within the Stormont Estate. Prior to commencing the walk, the group met with Health Minister Robin Swann to discuss making Northern Ireland a Daily Mile Nation.
Scotland is working towards becoming the world’s first Daily Mile Nation, a nation where people run, jog, wheel or walk The Daily Mile as part of everyday life. Now Elaine Wyllie MBE and The Daily Mile Northern Ireland Co-Chairs Dr Barbara McConnell and Dr Brenda McKay-Redmond are hoping to make Northern Ireland the next Daily Mile Nation.
Welcoming this support from politicians, Dr McConnell and Dr McKay-Redmond said,
“We are grateful to Minister Swann, Minister Mallon, Minister Poots and members of the Education Committee for signing the pledge to make Northern Ireland a Daily Mile Nation. The Daily Mile is an inclusive activity that all children can take part in, with no time needed to change, set up or tidy up. The Daily Mile is an activity that is fun for children to take part in, and we want to see children right across Northern Ireland enjoying their Daily Mile every day.
“A Daily Mile Nation is designed to increase the number of nursey, primary, and 11+ years children participating in The Daily Mile’s Fit For Life programmes, by developing sustainable partnerships across the nation that provide increased opportunities for participation in The Daily Mile.
“The theme of Children’s Mental Health Week 2022 is Growing Together, encouraging children and adults to consider how they’ve grown and how they can help others to grow. We hope to see Northern Ireland grow as a Daily Mile Nation, encouraging children to make The Daily Mile part of their everyday life.”
Founder of The Daily Mile, Elaine Wyllie MBE said,
“It was heartening to see so many Ministers join the children who took part in The Daily Mile at the Stormont Estate to mark Children’s Mental Health Week, and signing the pledge to make Northern Ireland a Daily Mile Nation.
“The Daily Mile happens in a 15-minute window, from leaving their desks to returning, and fits flexibly into the school day. Studies have shown that The Daily Mile improves children’s focus, behaviour and self—esteem, and has been shown to raise attainment by up to 25%.
“We thank the Ministers and MLAs who joined us to show their support for Northern Ireland to become a Daily Mile Nation.”
Caption: Ministers and MLAs joined local children to take part in The Daily Mile to mark Children’s Mental Health Week