Marathon Man joins Harpenden junior school as part of Daily Mile

PUBLISHED: 07:00 18 February 2020

Ben Smith and Annie Brewster at Crabtree Junior School in Harpenden to promote The Extra Mile.

Ben Smith and Annie Brewster at Crabtree Junior School in Harpenden to promote The Extra Mile.

Archant

Marathon Man Ben Smith has visited a Harpenden junior school to celebrate the county’s success with national campaign The Daily Mile.

Ben Smith and Annie Brewster at Crabtree Junior School in Harpenden to promote The Extra Mile.Ben Smith and Annie Brewster at Crabtree Junior School in Harpenden to promote The Extra Mile.

Instrumental in encouraging schools to adopt the concept of taking children outside to run or jog for 15 minutes per day, The Daily Mile allows pupils to take part in their uniform, at any time of day, in any weather, and is fully inclusive to all children.

The visit marked Crabtree Junior School becoming the 200th primary school in Herts to register for the initiative.

Ben, who famously completed 401 marathons in 401 days, presented a morning assembly to pupils and staff, during which he described his own experiences of using running as a means of countering mental health issues. His inspirational talk touched on bullying, respect for others and following one's own dreams in life; an ethos the school proudly follows.

Ben visited more than 10 primary schools last week, spoke at an inaugural secondary school conference and shared his story with scores of college students during his stay.

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The week was organised by the Herts Sports and Physical Activity Partnership (HSP).

Crabtree Juniors headteacher Emma Simmons said: "The day as incredible for our pupils. From the moment the children walked into the hall, the air of excitement was overwhelming! We are so very proud to welcome Ben, and hear his story, coupled with celebrating our status as the 200th school to register for The Daily Mile.

She added: "Since we started taking part in The Daily Mile, the difference the staff report in the children's ability to concentrate is tremendous.

"The school has a key focus on the mental health and wellbeing of our pupils, and we feel rewarded for our efforts by Ben's visit. His inspiring story of overcoming adversity sends an important message about resilience and determination to everyone."

Cllr Annie Brewster, Herts county council executive deputy member for public health and prevention, said: "I am delighted Crabtree School has joined the impressive list of 200-plus Hertfordshire primary schools who are taking part in The Daily Mile. Not only is it a perfect initiative to develop a daily physical fitness routine but it is also a tremendous boost for good mental health, appealing to pupils of all abilities.

"We still have 33 schools in St Albans district who have not yet signed up, and we are very keen to help them overcome any obstacles preventing them from doing so."


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