Chesterfield primary school introducing ‘daily mile’ track to improve health and wellbeing for pupils
St. Mary’s Catholic Primary School in Chesterfield is currently in the process of constructing a daily mile running track around the perimeter of its sports field. It is hoped the development will help promote health and wellbeing amongst pupils and the wider community.
Once completed, the track will run around the full perimeter of the grassed area of the field and will require 9 laps around it to complete a mile. The surface will be 1.2m wide and be made out of polyurethane bound rubber all weather material.
Rachael priest, chair of the school’s Parent-Teacher Friends Association said: “The field is a large part of the school’s outdoor space (making up almost half the outside play area available to the children) however, the British inclement weather means that it can typically only be used for a few months of the year. The nature of the material will mean that even through the winter months when the field is to muddy to utilise the children will still be able to use the track to complete their daily mile and for other activities.”
“The school is very keen to promote health, fitness and wellbeing and the introduction of the track would be a positive step in encouraging both children and staff to adopt a healthier and more active lifestyle while also improving and enhancing the Schools outdoor environment. The school is eager to adopt the mile as a daily part of the school day and hope, in time, that the completion of the daily mile by each pupil becomes as routine as maths lesson or break time.”
“We hope that the effects of the daily mile will also be felt by the wider community with our pupils becoming positive, confident individuals passing on the message that exercise is good for both body and the mind and encouraging others to embrace a happier and healthier future.”
The school has currently raised £2000 of its £10,000 target through past events and currently have collection points in the classrooms and playgrounds where children can bring in small change and deposit them in a covid secure way.
It is now looking to affiliate with a local running club in the future and hold sponsored running events with funds raised going towards the track. Other initiatives being planned include ‘sponsor a step,’ where people can help fund the track by buying a virtual step for a fee. In return the sponsors names or nominated names will be displayed on a sign in a similar way to buying a brick projects.
John Cannon of Cannon Events, who host a number of local fun-runs to promote exercise locally, said: “To have a facility like that in the school, for children to exercise every day, will benefit their physical and also mental health enormously and it’ll have a positive effect on their schoolwork as well. It is absolutely priceless. This track is going to make a huge difference.”