- ABU DHABI NATIONAL OIL COMPANY (ADNOC) AND UAE MINISTRY OF EDUCATION LEAD CAMPAIGN TO BOOST CHILDREN’S PHYSICAL ACTIVITY AS RECOVERY FROM PANDEMIC CONTINUES
The Daily Mile UAE in partnership with the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), and supported by the Ministry of Education, has launched a new campaign – #Daily15 – to help children stay healthy and happy during school time.
#Daily15 is being introduced to keep school communities engaged and physically active. It can be applied in all learning environments, whether for students who are face-to-face learning in school or distance learning at home, and will support families as they continue their gradual return to normalcy.
Omar Suwaina Al Suwaidi, Chairman of Corporate Social Responsibility committee at ADNOC, said: “We are delighted to partner with #Daily15 and support the Ministry of Education in boosting the health of students. The innovative nature of #Daily15 means all school children and teachers can find time for daily exercise, helping them to stay resilient and further adapt to the COVID-19 challenges, while accelerating the return to normalcy. Supporting programs like this ensures ADNOC continues to support the community and bring energy to life.”
#Daily15 encourages children to take part in exercises based on the number 15. Early examples from students and teachers include 15 minutes of physically distanced running, 15 jumping jacks at the start of each lesson or 15 single exercises spread throughout the school day.
Dr. Amna AlDahak AlShamsi, Assistant Undersecretary – Activities Sector at UAE Ministry of Education, said, “The Ministry places great emphasis on the health and well-being of UAE students. We welcome this latest campaign from The Daily Mile UAE in partnership with ADNOC – an initiative we are proud to support.
“Protecting the physical and mental health of all students, and ensuring their motivation, is central to our efforts while the coronavirus pandemic continues.” she added. “Their well-being is core to our sector’s efficient recovery and the continuity of world class education. We look forward to seeing all students benefit from #Daily15.”
The flexibility of #Daily15 makes it much easier for schools and teachers to integrate exercise into the routine of students, regardless of methods of learning and timetable pressures. Exercise ideas are also shared weekly through The Daily Mile website and social channels.
Other benefits to both students and teachers include recognition certificates and the chance to win prizes in different competitions.
As part of this year’s Dubai Fitness Challenge, the Ministry of Education is encouraging its students to take up #Daily15 by walking or running for at least 15 minutes every day, until their school completes a total of 558km – the distance of the UAE’s longest road, the E11.
Named the ‘E11 Challenge’, prizes of 500 dirhams of sportswear each will be awarded to 5 students and 5 teachers who achieve the furthest distance.
In a separate competition for UAE private schools, similar prizes will be awarded to 5 students and 5 teachers for sharing a picture or video of their exercise on social media. Winners will be drawn at random.
#Daily15 is the latest initiative from The Daily Mile UAE, which has already been proven to have a positive effect on children participating by increasing fitness and well-being over 6 weeks. 100% of participating school principals surveyed last year said The Daily Mile also improved focus and attention levels, and seemed to make students happier overall.
First launched in the UK in 2012, The Daily Mile is one of the world’s largest health and well-being initiatives with over 11,000 schools and 2.3 million children now taking part across 78 countries. In the UAE, 66 schools adopted the initiative before COVID-19.
The Daily Mile was first developed in the UK by Elaine Wyllie MBE when she was Headteacher of St Ninian’s Primary School in Stirling, Scotland, in February 2012.
The initiative is simple. It involves classes walking, jogging or running around the school grounds for 15 minutes every day, at whatever pace suits the child best. It gets children active with their friends and teachers and refreshed for further learning. The Daily Mile is free, fun and fits in the school day easily.
Though named “The Daily Mile” (as children tend to average running a mile in the 15 minutes) the distance is not compulsory. The purpose of the initiative is inclusivity, enjoyment, and self-improvement over time. The Daily Mile is intended to help all children, no matter their age, ability or personal circumstances, enjoy getting active every day – getting fitter and healthier now, but also developing healthy habits for a lifetime.
The effects of The Daily Mile are transformational. In February – March 2019, during a 6 week pilot study in UAE government schools, The Daily Mile UAE was proven to improve children’s physical fitness, well-being and focus in the classroom, and also increased the chances of them taking part in other physical activities.