From Rochdale to Tokyo – Kentmere Academy launch daily mile challenge to get pupils active

Date published: 11 September 2020

Kentmere Academy and Nursery in Smallbridge have created a brand-new one mile running track over the summer, encouraging health, wellbeing, and fitness in children as pupils return to school.

Following the new installation, the primary school have set themselves a challenge ‘From Rochdale to Tokyo’ in honour of the 2021 Olympics to be hosted in the capital of Japan.

From September, pupils and staff at Kentmere will start making their way to Tokyo with the launch of the ‘Daily Mile’ for over 350 pupils and staff in a campaign to get fit, increase exercise and have fun whilst improving their physical and mental health.

A spokesperson for Kentmere Academy said: “We know that for many the time off school during Covid-19 has resulted in less activity and we want to mark the return to school with a high energy challenge that everyone can take part in. There are lots of activities to promote physical and mental wellbeing at Kentmere and we know the impact that being healthy makes; our pupils and staff are happier, can focus better during the school day and they take this learning home to their families. 

“We have 5,857 miles to run or walk to get to our destination and this is under 20 miles per person. We hope that we might have some pupils and staff doing more running than walking towards the end of the challenge.

“Each day pupils and staff will take part to contribute to the mammoth challenge and we will chat to each other along the way and will of course be observing social distancing.

“The school is fortunate to have a brand-new mile track in the school grounds so that the walking and running can be done safely.”

Sarah Ker, who is leading the project at Kentmere Academy and Nursery, said: “I am really excited about this project as I know the children will enjoy the challenge and learn along the way. Sometimes staff need encouraging to exercise more too, so by doing it together the whole school will feel the benefits of moving more and being in the fresh air.”

Those taking part will track their progress at school and learn about the countries and places of interest they will travel through along the way to Tokyo. During assembly time, Kentmere will also celebrate the distance they have travelled, and staff and pupils will share their experiences of the project.

The pupils have already started the challenge and are enjoying the new track, with some commenting ‘I love the daily mile because it’s good exercise’, ‘I love anything that involves running’ and ‘the track is so bouncy and fresh!’.

The Daily Mile is a national campaign that encourages a social physical activity, with children running or jogging at their own pace in the fresh air with friends. Children can occasionally walk to catch their breath, if necessary, but should aim to run or jog for the full 15 minutes. The aim is to give every child the opportunity to do The Daily Mile at primary school.

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