We've teamed up The Daily Mile Foundation, Ipswich Town Football Club, East Anglian Daily Times, East of England Co-op and Suffolk County Council to launch East Anglian Go Kids.
East Anglian Go Kids promotes a holistic, healthy lifestyle at an early age, encouraging healthy eating and exercise.
The campaign aims to do this by highlighting to parents and carers of children the healthy food options and where to find places and activities at schools, sports grounds, gyms etc where children can engage in fun, physical activity.
A key part of our campaign will be to encourage schools to sign up to The Daily Mile - a simple and free initiative that sees children run/walk/jog for 15 minutes every day in their primary and nursery schools.
In this time, most children average a mile or more. There is no equipment or set up needed, with children being able to take part in their uniforms. It’s social, non-competitive and fun; meaning children return to class ready to learn.
The Daily Mile aims to improve the physical, emotional, social health and wellbeing of young children – regardless of age or personal circumstances.
The impact can be transformational and has been credited with improving children’s focus, behaviour, attainment, and general wellbeing.
Furthermore, scientific research by the Universities of Stirling and Edinburgh has shown that a child’s attention and memory improves after exercise, therefore subsequently improving their ability to learn.
Former headteacher and founder of The Daily Mile, Elaine Wyllie, said: “I’m delighted by the support of so many influential organisations for The Daily Mile movement in Suffolk - together we can make a real difference to the physical, mental, social and emotional health of our children.”
Eighteen primary schools in Suffolk are already signed up to The Daily Mile, with the aim to have 25% of all Suffolk primary schools signed up by the end of 2018.
Additionally, we set out to see a reduction in the number of children classed as overweight and obese in year 6 NCMP (National Child Measurement Programme). Currently, it is estimated around 30% of year six pupils in Suffolk are overweight or obese.
It is hoped that East Anglian Go Kids and The Daily Mile can also help contribute towards making Suffolk the most active county in England.
Medical Director at Ipswich Hospital, Crawford Jamieson, said: “This is an excellent project. As an NHS, we want to move from reactive treatment to preventative health; The Daily Mile and East Anglian Go Kids are excellent initiatives that can help in building a holistic healthy lifestyle at an early age.”
East Anglian Go Kids strongly encourages healthy eating which is heavily supported by Vertas, who cater for around 400 schools across the region, reducing salt, sugar and saturated fats.
Ipswich Town’s Managing Director, Ian Milne added: “Ipswich Town are hoping to make a big difference along with the other leading organisations involved in this campaign.
“East Anglian Go Kids will see the Club’s involvement in schools sports activities furthered to get children involved in fun daily exercise routines.”
Brad Jones, Editor of the East Anglian Daily Times and Ipswich Star, said: “It’s great to see so many influential organisations in Suffolk come together for this campaign. Together, I hope we can make a big difference.”
The East of England Co-op will be encouraging teachers and pupils across the region to support East Anglian Go Kids through their new Schools Partnership programme, which will also encourage healthy eating.
We will work closely together at events throughout 2018, including a Daily Mile Wave as part of the newly launched 5K running event, taking place on 12th May 2018. Ipswich Town will also endorse the campaign through work in the community involving player appearances from first-team players.
Schools can join The Daily Mile online.
With our commitment to school nutrition it's a natural fit for Vertas to embrace this healthy eating, exercise and wellbeing initiative. As Ipswich Town strategic partners we’re very much looking forward to the Portman Road events.
Ian Surtees, Chief Executive Officer