With the countdown on until the start of the Olympics a record number of over 50,000 school children from over 170 Surrey-based schools have registered for Active Surrey’s ‘Run to Rio’ scheme.
Pupils, teachers, and staff will collectively run or walk 5,700 miles from Surrey to Rio before the Olympics and Paralympics in August.
Active Surrey has worked with Premier Sport to offer every Surrey primary school free use of the Golden Mile software which allows them to monitor their distance and progress during the summer term.
Run to Rio was officially launched at St. Polycarp's School in Farnham on Friday 29 April by Secretary of State for Health Jeremy Hunt and Olympic Gold Medalist Duncan Goodhew. Also in attendance were senior officials from Surrey County Council and Sport England. Guests were treated to a Rio themed performance and speeches from St. Polycarp's School children as well as a demonstration of the school's daily Run to Rio.
The ‘Run to Rio’ idea was inspired by the ‘Daily Mile’, which was started by St. Ninian’s School in Stirling, Scotland four years ago. The school got their children running a mile a day at any point in their school day aiming for greater concentration in class as well as improving their fitness.
St. Polycarp's School were early adopters of a daily mile and, since its introduction last year, the school has seen a 15% rise to 56% of children who can run the daily mile in 15 minutes with improved concentration levels and behaviour in the class.