Shropshire pupils on track to being healthy
A small primary school in Shropshire is putting keeping healthy on the top of its curriculum, with the installation of a running/cycling track on its grounds.
Kinnerley C of E Primary School is one of 17 the county chosen to benefit from the building of a track by Shropshire Council, with money from the "sugar tax".
This week the track was officially opened during a health and fitness day at the school.
Shrewsbury Town In The Community along with its Lenny the Lion mascot spent Wednesday afternoon doing fun workouts with the pupils and rising junior canicross star and Kinnerley CE School pupil Eva Darlington, together with other members of the Shropshire/Clwyd Canicross groups officially opened the new, wheelchair-accessible track.
The Shropshire-wide Healthy Pupils Capital Fund project, led by Shropshire Council, has been welcomed by the school and local community as a key feature of a strategy to instil positive attitudes towards health and exercise from an early age.
Kinnerley Headteacher Marilyn Hunt said, “Here at Kinnerley we want all of our pupils to embrace an active lifestyle to improve health and wellbeing. We have been taking part in the “Daily Mile”, 15 minutes of focused activity on the school playground every day, with all of our pupils since the start of this academic year and have seen so many benefits to positive attitudes and an increased sense of wellbeing in addition to improvements in pupil fitness.
"The installation of the all-weather surface track will enable us to continue this activity more effectively year-round, in addition to providing a useful resource for curriculum PE and school clubs and providing an additional sporting resource for inter-school events and the local community to use.”
The pupils were accompanied on the inaugural lap by parents, carers and other members of the local community, together with the Shrewsbury Town mascot, Lenny the Lion.
The tracks are being constructed from a total of 1,500 tonnes of recycled Shropshire roads. In addition, a number of improvements to each school’s facilities will also be carried out while the tracks are being constructed, including maintaining forest schools, maintaining school gardens, refreshing playground markings, repairing raised plant beds, and repainting car park markings.
In total, 4,000 children are set to benefit from the project, which will enable each child to walk or run a total of 285km in each academic year, at a cost of just £1.30 per pupil per year.
The idea for the tracks came about earlier this year when Shropshire Council received £226,572 from the Healthy Pupils Capital Fund – which is funded through the ‘sugar tax’ grant. Of the total grant, £105,000 was set aside to provide school running tracks – to help children meet the ‘Daily Mile challenge’ to walk or run a mile every day.
Nick Bardsley, Shropshire Council’s cabinet member for children’s services, said: "The tracks really will provide the schools with health and educational learning benefits for their pupils, in terms of both physical and mental wellbeing."