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Schools walking to Gibraltar a Daily Mile at a time

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SCHOOLCHILDREN are using their Daily Mile to walk the equivalent of the distance around the British Isles and on to Gibraltar.

The NatWest Island Games are to be hosted in Gibraltar in July, with local athletes travelling there to take part in the 12 sports.

Education lead for the Health Improvement Commission, Alun Williams, said a lot of schools now tried to walk a mile a day.

‘The Daily Mile is very popular and is currently undertaken by 11 Bailiwick schools, including one in Alderney,’ he said.

‘Over the next few weeks we are looking to link the Daily Mile with the Island Games in Gibraltar.

Bella Greenberg 5. (24729677)

‘By our reckoning there are nearly 60 schools across Shetlands, Isle of Man, Western Isles, Ynys Mon, Orkney, Isle of Wight, Jersey, Guernsey and Alderney who are doing the Daily Mile.

‘Schools across the various islands will be clocking up their Daily Miles and by virtually travelling to each of these schools and then heading off to Gibraltar, the children will cover about 3,000 miles.’

One of the schools taking part is St Mary & St Michael. All 150 pupils from the primary school walk twice around Delancey Park each morning, no matter what the weather.

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Year 1 teacher Emily Mercer leading the way. (24729703)

The school started doing the Daily Mile more than a year ago and Year 1 teacher Emily Mercer said it had had a big impact.

‘It’s really taken off,’ she said.‘The children love it. We see a real difference in them. Their general fitness has improved and they come back to school ready to learn.’

She said it was great to have a link with the Island Games.

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Six-year-old Mary Boldison-Smith was one of the children doing the walk.

‘I like to get to do loads of laps,’ she said.

As part of the launch of the Island Games Virtual Trip, some Games hopefuls came to see the Daily Mile taking place.

Athletes Summer Woodhead, Megan Chapple and Gian-Luca Robilliard. (24729691)

That included former pupil Gian-Luca Robilliard, 14, who is hoping to compete in running events at the Guernsey 2021 games. He thought the Daily Mile was a great initiative.

‘I would have liked to do this when I was here at school,’ he said.

Juliet Pouteaux

By Juliet Pouteaux
News reporter

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