As statistics go, The Daily Mile has racked up a fair few. More than three million children from 85 countries are now taking part in The Daily Mile and it recently signed up its 13,114th school. But there's one equally impressive statistic that often goes unnoticed.
For there are just eight people in the core team who are overseeing the global rollout of The Daily Mile initiative – Jessica Ard, Bill Russell, Anna Limbach, Tilly McAuliffe, Caitlin McConnell, Hannah Oakes, Thomas Manfredini and Fiona Paterson.
“They do an incredible job and they are really making a difference, by talking to schools, posting online and working with our extensive partners,” said John Mayock, director of The Daily Mile project.
“But we are always on the lookout for partners on the ground who can help us to spread the message of the benefits of The Daily Mile, given its simplicity to implement.”
It’s a call to action from INEOS employees because COVID-19 – far from derailing the programme – has actually helped to increase awareness of the need to stay healthy, both mentally and physically, during lockdown.
“People have been looking for what they can do during lockdown to increase their health and wellbeing and The Daily Mile, because it is such a simple initiative, has been something they can do at home,” said John.
The UK/US-based team have set themselves some strategic, long-term goals.
And partnerships with key supporters will be key.
In England, it is Sport England. In Scotland, the government. In France, Le Coq Sportif. And in Spain, it’s a high-profile national cancer association.
“The Daily Mile will thrive under any condition because it is a simple and tried-and-tested initiative,” said John. “The key is about getting the right people and organisations in place to influence schools and community leaders.”
Over the coming year, the focus will be on spreading the message about The Daily Mile more widely in America.
“We have got 52 states to go at,” said John.
The team have recently signed agreements with The National Dairy Council and Seattle Marathon to implement The Daily Mile across their networks.
“These are very exciting opportunities for us to test the partnership model,” he said.
The former Olympic athlete, who competed in the Commonwealth Games, also recently contacted ambassadors of all countries in the Commonwealth to gain support for adopting The Daily Mile.
“The response was overwhelming,” he said.
Contact The Daily Mile at the foundation's global website: