By Maria Bagnall
Local legend and gold medal Paralympian Mickey Bushell cut the ribbon to open Grange Park Schools Daily Mile Track.
Cheering and clapping, children flooded the all-weather track made possible in part through £4,000 funding from Telford & Wrekin Council’s ‘Let’s Get Telford Active’ grant.
Mickey, along with Telford & Wrekin Mayor Stephen Reynolds and Telford & Wrekin Council’s Cabinet Member for health and social care Andy Burford, joined in with the children as they completed laps of the track.
Grange Park Primary School now joins 8,890 other schools and nurseries across the world that are already taking part in the Daily Mile scheme.
The free initiative sees children run or jog at their own pace each day for 15 minutes and the school is also opening the track on Thursdays after school for parents to join in too.
After the ribbon cutting, pupils quizzed Mickey with questions like ‘How do you stay motivated?’ ‘How fast can you go?’ and ‘What do you want to do next? – Amongst others.
Mickey Bushell said:
“This is such a great initiative especially as it’s at a school just like I came from. These sort of grass roots schemes help create healthy habits in people from a young age. Habits are hard to break and if you start from a young age such as this primary school, it helps build a strong foundation for health in later life.”Mickey Bushell MBE, Paralympic gold medalist.
Councillor Andy Burford said:
“Running around with these kids is what the ‘Let’s Get Telford Active’ fund is all about, encouraging activity at levels to suit everyone.
“Having Mickey here is so inspiring for the children and some of the questions show they are really excited about sport and enjoying being active.Andy Burford, Cabinet Member for health and social care.
Headteacher Richard Thorpe said:
“The Daily Mile is a great example of a simple, free inclusive exercise to boost the wellbeing of the whole school and the community around it.
“Being able to take part at least three times a week for 15 minutes has a huge impact on pupil’s social, mental and physical wellbeing.
“It helps pupils release some steam and they are able to focus and learn well when they come back into the classroom. They ask every morning as it means they can be with friends, race each other and have some fun.
“Thank you to Telford & Wrekin Council for helping us achieve this.”Richard Thorpe, Headteacher at Grange Park Primary School.