Schoolchildren across the Red Rose County are being encouraged to get outside to enjoy all it offers by completing an Active Mile in the week of Lancashire Day.
Organised by Active Lancashire and the School Games Organiser network, primary and secondary aged schoolchildren have been challenged to log a mile of physical exercise between Monday 22nd November and Sunday 28th November as part of the launch of the Lancashire School Games 2022.
Lancashire Day itself is on Saturday 27th November, and complementing the Active Mile is an Active Journey initiative for parents, carers, grandparents, businesses and organisations to get involved in. They can support a chosen school in their community by replacing a journey by car with walking, running, or cycling.
With the Birmingham Commonwealth Games taking place next year, an overarching total mileage target has been set to achieve 11,541 logged miles – the equivalent of reaching Wellington, New Zealand – the furthest Commonwealth capital from Lancashire. Miles can be logged here.
The build up to the Active Mile comes as SPAR has renewed its sponsorship of the Lancashire School Games for a 15th consecutive year through James Hall & Co. Ltd, SPAR UK’s primary wholesaler and distributor in northern England, based in Preston.
Preparation for the Active Mile has already started at Eldon Primary School in Preston, where children are getting ready to do their bit for the challenge. They supported the launch of the initiative with SPAR representatives, including mascot SPARtan.
The school recently promoted the value of physical activity within school as one of 20 schools in Lancashire to take part in the European School Sports Day.
Children ran, walked and skipped to school on the day, before taking part in games and challenges, and incorporated physical activity into learning in a range of lessons too from English through to History.
Sahira Narot (10), a pupil at Eldon Primary School, said: “It is exciting to be part of the Active Mile launch. When I do my Active Mile, I’m going to run it and pace myself. I don’t want to start off too quickly and get tired before I finish.”
Mason Humphreys (9) added: “I’m going to go somewhere different to do my Active Mile so that I am in a new area and surroundings. It is a brilliant feeling to help start the Lancashire School Games and I loved meeting the SPAR mascot.”
Azra Butt, Headteacher at Eldon Primary School, said: “We’re absolutely committed to providing children at our school with dedicated hours of Physical Education. We also incorporate physical activity within lesson time not normally associated with it, because of the value it brings to learning and the health benefits it delivers for our children.
“We really do embrace all of the additional opportunities we have to get our children up and active too, including the European School Sports Day and the Lancashire School Games, so we were especially proud to be selected to launch the Active Mile ahead of Lancashire Day.”
Peter Dodding, Sales and Marketing Director of James Hall & Co. Ltd, said: “We’re delighted to add SPAR’s name as sponsor of the Lancashire School Games for a 15th year and continue our partnership with Active Lancashire.
“It really is a fantastic initiative that delivers positive impact on the lives of thousands of children across the county. We’re excited for the calendar of events for the 2022 Games to begin, kicking off with the Active Mile and Active Journey initiative in the week of Lancashire Day.”
Adrian Leather, Chief Executive of Active Lancashire, said: “We’re extremely grateful to SPAR for the continued sponsorship of the Lancashire School Games. Our programme leading up to 2022 is more important than ever in boosting the hours of physical activity children in Lancashire participate in after the pandemic.
“We’re thrilled to begin the year with the Active Mile – so whether you live in Walton-le-Dale or Whalley, Waterfoot or Winmarleigh, Worsthorne or Wesham, we want to see those miles being logged as we bid to reach our destination of Wellington!”
The Lancashire School Games 2022 provides children and young people with the opportunities to have fun, develop skills, and achieve personal bests through games, activities and competitions in a calendar of events across the academic year.
The aim of the 2022 Games is to help young people recover from the effects of pandemic, and support those who may have been impacted the most. It will culminate in a celebration event in Blackpool’s Stanley Park on Tuesday 5th July 2022.
You can find out more about James Hall & Co. Ltd at www.jameshall.co.uk.
Further information on Active Lancashire can be found at www.activelancashire.org.uk.