Blennerville School Welcomes Minister For Launch Of ‘The Daily Mile’

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Minister Brendan Griffin is joined by local athlete Shona Heaslip and pupils from Blennerville, Caherleaheen, Listellick and CBS Primary schools at the launch of ‘The Daily Mile’ at St Brendan’s NS Blennerville on Friday morning. Photo by Dermot Crean

ST Brendan’s NS in Blennerville was the venue this morning for Athletics Ireland to announce the ‘Pilot’ launch of ‘The Daily Mile’, hosted by Kerry Recreation and Sport Partnership.

Brendan Griffin TD, Minister of State for Tourism and Sport and John Foley, CEO of Athletics Ireland, launched the Primary Schools initiative which is sure to have a far-reaching and lasting impact on Ireland’s younger generation.

The Daily Mile involves pupils spending 15 minutes of running or jogging, with walking kept to a minimum, outside around the school playground or perimeter every day.

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Principal of Blennerville school, Terry O’Sullivan.

Pupils at the Blennerville school have been taking part in the initiative since October and it’s had an amazing effect on the pupils as Principal Terry O’Sullivan explained to those attending.

“Since we started this initiative, our teachers have reported a marked improvement in concentration levels, work rate, focus and general mood. As the children come in from the yard after completing the Daily Mile, there is a renewed energy about them. They are very quick to settle and focus when they come in and they thoroughly enjoy the exercise.

“They are setting their own personal goals and we often hear them speak about their improvement in speed and distance. More importantly, they have found their own level and pace and the general understanding that it is not a race seems to relax the children more and allow them to move at a pace they are more comfortable with,” he said.

Principal O’Sullivan noted that new friendships had formed and the feedback from parents has been fantastic. He encouraged all schools to take part in the Daily Mile.

Also in attendance at the launch were pupils and staff from Listellick, Caherleaheen and CBS schools — who have all adopted the exercise — George Maybury, Athletics Ireland Board member and Tobias Bruce-Jones, representing  The Daily Mile Foundation and INEOS.

The launch of ‘The Daily Mile’ at St Brendan’s NS Blennerville on Friday morning. Photo by Dermot Crean

Athletics Ireland CEO John Foley welcomed The Daily Mile at the Kerry launch and believes that it can forge a long- lasting legacy for teachers, children and parents – as well as Athletics Ireland.

“I want to thank Irish Runner editor Frank Greally for first bringing The Daily Mile initiative to my attention and it pleases me greatly to see that Athletics Ireland now will be the driver of what is a profoundly simple yet effective concept through which primary-aged children run or walk for 15 minutes each day,” Foley said.

Brendan Griffin TD, Minister of State for Tourism and Sport said: “I think this is a really great idea and I wish it every success. This initiative is all about improving the fitness of the children and it sets out to do this in a way that no child feels excluded. There is no focus on winning or competition between the children, there is no cost involved in terms of equipment or sports kit but the benefits of the children being out in the fresh air and simply having fun cannot be understated.”

Since launching in Scotland in 2012, The Daily Mile has grown exponentially, with over 3,400 schools currently participating, and over half a million children taking part regularly across the UK. The benefits of this fun and free physical activity are numerous, improving children’s physical and mental health and wellbeing, their focus in class, and their fitness levels.

Athletics Ireland will now act as hub for the promotion and development of The Daily Mile in Ireland in collaboration with Local Authorities and Sports Partnerships, who will pilot The Daily Mile during May and June in three regions; Dublin City, Fingal, Kerry and Galway.

The Kerry Recreation and Sports Partnership was chosen by Athletics Ireland as one of the regions to Pilot The Daily Mile.

Schools interested in starting The Daily Mile can find out more and sign up for free at

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