Arsenal mascot Gunnersaurus joins Camden schools in celebrating Daily Mile success

This week Arsenal Football Club’s mascot Gunnersaurus joined children doing the Daily Mile in Camden primary schools. Around 3,000 children in Camden enjoy taking part in the Daily Mile every week, benefiting their wellbeing, health and learning.

The Daily Mile is a nationwide school initiative. Every child spends 15 minutes a day running, jogging or walking outdoors on top of regular PE lessons. This supports the national recommendations for children of all ages to be active for an hour a day. Founder Elaine Wyllie established The Daily Mile in 2012 when she was headteacher of a primary school in Scotland. She has since been dedicated to inspiring schools around the world to get involved in the Daily Mile.


“We noticed in our school that some children were struggling with the warm-up for games, before they even took part. So we started a simple initiative that could be easily built into the school day by teachers. The kids loved it, their fitness improved and further benefits followed, such as more focus in lessons and having the freedom to do something fun with friends. The Daily Mile is now in more than 5,500 schools in England, and we’re hoping many more will take part.”
Elaine Wyllie, Daily Mile Founder
“We know that there are so many benefits from being more active, yet it may be a challenge to fit physical activity into our busy lives. Encouraging children to be active through the Daily Mile can help them to build up to the nationally recommended hour of physical activity. Being regularly active can help them do well at school, and increase their wellbeing and happiness.

“Camden Council has been working with Arsenal in the Community to encourage schools to participate in the Daily Mile. We’ve been really impressed by how much pupils enjoy the Daily Mile, and how much teachers value it. We hope that the stories in this article will inspire more schools in Camden to get involved.”
Julie Billett, Director of Public Health at Camden Council

So far 13 Camden schools are doing the Daily Mile. We visited four of them this week to celebrate the many advantages of taking part, finding out from children and teachers their views about a different benefit each day.

Hawley Primary School – the Daily Mile helps children to be fit and strong

Hawley Primary School has been taking part in the Daily Mile for just over a year. Gunnersaurus visited the school to cheer them on as they did their 15 minute run around the playground.

Jonathan in Year 1 told us: “The Daily Mile’s really fun – it makes my body feel happy.” Naomi in Year 4 said: “It gets me fit and healthy – I like getting the fresh air.” Melissa Law, Year 6 Teacher, said: “It definitely helps to re-energise them for the afternoon – they love it!”

Laura Ryan, PE lead for Hawley Primary School, said: “We usually timetable in the Daily Mile, but sometimes we like to do it as and when, if the children need a brain break. They come out, run for 15 minutes, and just run it all out. It really helps their concentration – we talk about how it gets the blood pumping round the body, which helps their brain work better too. We’ve also seen fitness levels improve considerably. We do the Daily Mile in all weathers, even when it’s raining. It’s such a good initiative, and the children see it as fun too.”

Argyle Primary School – the Daily Mile has a positive impact on children’s emotional wellbeing

Gunnersaurus joined pupils in their Daily Mile at Argyle Primary School, where children’s wellbeing is at the heart of their ethos, and taking part in the Daily Mile is a big part of the school day.

Year 4 pupil, Delilah, said: “It makes me feel happy and full of energy!” And Yahiya in Year 2 said: “I get energy when I run around.”

Helene Taylor, Year 6 teacher, said: “One of our school improvement points this year is around increasing fitness and mental wellbeing for our children and the Daily Mile really contributes towards meeting that aim. It’s also helped me get fitter, as I’ve been running with the children.”

St Mary and St Pancras Primary School – all children get involved with the Daily Mile. It’s an opportunity for them to help each other and have fun with friends

The playground is full of chatter and laughter at St Mary and St Pancras as children head outside to run together and cheer each other on as they complete their Daily Mile.

Pupils and teachers have embraced the Daily Mile as a sociable event that they look forward to taking part in. Year 2 pupil, Abdalla, said: “I like the Daily Mile because I can do exercise and it makes me feel happy!” And Valentina in Year 2 said: “I like how it makes me stronger.”

Jessica Bembridge, Year 2 teacher, said: “It is really positive for the children and encourages them to feel happier. I think their mental health has really improved. We do the Daily Mile outside in our playground and sometimes children from my old class come out to join in.”

St Albans C of E Primary School – the Daily Mile helps our children to concentrate and do well at school

St Albans C of E Primary School has been taking part for two years. They fit in the Daily Mile around the curriculum at whatever time works best for each class. We joined Year 4 as they completed the Daily Mile during morning break time.

Ridhi in Year 4 said: “After you’ve run around your mind feels refreshed so you can focus more in class.” Year 4 pupil Elly said: “It keeps us healthy and helps us to be more active.”

Their class teacher told us: “I find it really settles them when they come back in to class. I can tell that they really look forward to it and they’re always eager to improve throughout the year.”

The Daily Mile is free and simple and children do not have to change into PE kit to take part. Camden primary schools interested in taking part can get support and advice to get started by emailing Mike Mortlock, Health Improvement Specialist, at [email protected] or via the Daily Mile website.

We are promoting the Daily Mile as part of our We Can Move campaign. Find out more at