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CCG pilot scheme sees schoolchildren running a mile a day


27 April 2016

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A pilot scheme to get schoolchildren clocking up a mile a day has been hailed a success by a clinical commission group (CCG) which is planning to extend it across primary schools.

Norwich CCG ran a pilot daily miles scheme at Trowse Primary School in the city.

The children in Norwich finished their eight week challenge with a special run just before Sunday’s London Marathon.

They were joined by television sports presenter Jake Humphrey, who gave his time for free to be involved.

A pilot scheme to get schoolchildren clocking up a mile a day has been hailed a success by a clinical commission group (CCG) which is planning to extend it across primary schools.

Norwich CCG ran a pilot daily miles scheme at Trowse Primary School in the city.

The children in Norwich finished their eight week challenge with a special run just before Sunday’s London Marathon.

They were joined by television sports presenter Jake Humphrey, who gave his time for free to be involved.

The pilot follows in the footsteps of St Ninian’s Primary School in Stirling, central Scotland, where a volunteer challenged children to run a daily mile.

The East Anglian pilot was run by Healthy Norwich, a public health initiative run by Norwich CCG, Norwich City Council and Public Health.

It has been run at minimal cost, as Stephen Hulme, manager for children and young people at Active Norfolk, which ran the pilot explained.

“The only real cost has been the design of some resources, an infographic template letter to parents and we offer a visit to schools to talk to them about how to implement it,” he said.

Children have also been given medals and some classes gave out tickets as children clocked up laps, to help motivate them.

Older children have learnt how to measure their pulse before and after their run.

Norwich CCG’s healthy Norwich project lead said: “Really the biggest cost is just the commitment from the school.”

She said there had been learning points, including the positive impact on teachers, who are also clocking up miles a week and reports from parents on the impact on their children’s behaviour.

One-in-four children are overweight in Norwich when they start primary school and one-in-three are deemed overweight when they leave.

Hunt said she thought the scheme, which will be rolled out to the city’s 33 primary schools, “is potentially low cost but can deliver a considerable impact.”

She added there was “resoundingly positive” evidence from the scheme’s take-up in Scotland and there are plans to evaluate the Norwich challenge.

“This can only be for the greater good for the children’s long-term health.”

Head teacher Stuart Odell said: “Staff feel it has had a positive impact – children feel good about their achievements and are calm in class after their run. “

Odell said children’s fitness levels had improved. He added: “Children are fitter and can run the mile much quicker now than they could at the start.

“Some children who suffer from asthma and needed their inhalers at the start no longer need them.”

Staff also reported a “positive impact” on their wellbeing, he said.

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