Millwall's first team captain Steve Morison took some time out before training last week to visit Peter Hills Primary School in Rotherhithe along with The Lions' club mascot Zampa The Lion.
Peter Hills Primary School have signed up to 'The Daily Mile', which aims to improve the physical, social, emotional, mental health and wellbeing of children – regardless of age, ability or personal circumstances.
It is a profoundly simple but effective concept, which any primary or nursery school can implement. Its impact can be transformational – improving not only the children's fitness, but also their concentration levels, mood, behavior and general wellbeing.
The Daily Mile is a social activity, wherein the children run or jog – at their own pace – in the fresh air with friends. Children can occasionally walk to catch their breath, if necessary, but should aim to run or jog for the full 15 minutes. Research has shown that The Daily Mile can even increase attainment in primary school, and parents have reported an increased interest in health and wellbeing from their children after they have started 'The Daily Mile'.
"We introduced The Daily Mile to our School over a year ago to increase levels of physical activity and it's been amazing," said Malachi Talabi, Head of Physical Education at Peter Hills School.
"We have found it's a great way to get the children active first thing in the morning and it also helps them to improve healthy habits. Our children are achieving great things in P.E. and are more active and attentive during the school day. After The Daily Mile the children are more attentive and energetic during the school day and the best thing about it is they are improving their fitness levels while having fun.
"We are so grateful that Millwall have helped us build The Daily Mile as we find the facility at St Paul's Sports Ground ideal. It's hard to track down a good space for The Daily Mile and now we have the support of Millwall, especially when Steve Morison and Zampa The Lion turned up to encourage the children."
Nine-year-old Ruby Rae Edwards said of the morning: "I loved it because I met the captain of Millwall, Steve Morison. I also liked it because I got lots of exercise and I am becoming fitter. Athletics is my favourite sport. I enjoyed it very much and I saw Zampa. To show how much I love Millwall, I have seen lots of their matches."
Meanwhile, Daisy Finch, aged 10, said: "I enjoy The Daily Mile because it's like extra training for athletics tournaments and it makes me push harder. I liked that Millwall came because they supported everyone and was giving everyone high-fives. Millwall and the teachers cheered for us, so everyone finished with pride."
Richard White, Community Development and Health Improvement Manager at Millwall Community Trust, added: "It's important that children enjoy taking part in sport and being active from an early age. We believe that the Millwall appeal increases local children's enthusiasm in taking part in activities and we will continue to work with local partners to help make a difference."
St Paul's Sports Ground in Rotherhithe, Southwark is managed by Millwall Community Trust and is regularly used by many community groups from football to try tag rugby on the 3G pitch state-of-the-art sports facility, which is also home to Fisher FC and Millwall Lionesses.
To enquire about bookings at St Paul's Sports Ground or if your school would like more information about Millwall Community Trust's new schools packages, please call 0207 740 0503 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Take a look at our gallery from the morning above.