‘Parkrun’ founder Paul Sinton-Hewitt CBE was on hand to officially open a new track at Castewood Primary School which was recently installed with the aim of improving the physical and mental health of pupils.
Children, staff, governors and sponsors at the school in Southwater gathered close to the ‘Daily Mile’ track as the guest-of-honour spoke about his experiences, the importance of a healthy lifestyle in helping to achieve ambitions and about why he started Parkrun which organises free weekly timed runs all over the world.
Rachel Nunns, headteacher said: “Healthy minds and healthy bodies are important for a life of learning and everyone at Castlewood, children and adults, is looking forward to dusting off their trainers and adding a mile jog, walk or run to their daily routine.
“I know we will see and feel the benefit in our children’s fitness and concentration - and indeed our own.”
The Daily Mile is a national scheme which encourages primary children and the adults working with them to walk or run a mile each day with the aim of improving their physical and mental health as well as their general wellbeing.
With the Government’s focus on the need to improve children’s health, increase their exercise and, also wanting to reduce childhood obesity, the school felt it was important that their pupils have adequate facilities in which to exercise and the installation of an all-weather track has created additional space that can be used all year round.
As a result, the decision was taken to invest a significant proportion of the school’s allocation of this year’s Sports Premium Grant in the installation of a Daily Mile Track.
AGPGrass were selected to do the work as, after much research, they were found to provide paths to a range of schools that are very resilient to wear and tear from running activities and the UK weather, ensuring that Castlewood children will stand to benefit for many years to come.
In addition, Castlewood also sought sponsorship from local businesses such as Brock Taylor, Sam Paul Heating, WH Grinding, Bubble Chamber CIC, Visit Horsham, STEAMCademy and North Sussex Soccer Academy Ltd.
Parents were also keen to donate and, to date, a total of £970 has been raised.
Paul Stinton-Hewitt cut the ribbon to the new track at which point the children embarked on their first laps.
The children were excited and inspired by their first jog on the new track.
Olivia from Year 4 commented: “The track was really good but I got hungry on the fifth lap!”
Nathaniel, Year 5, felt it will be good in the future: “It’s all-weather so that means we can go on it anytime”.
A cake made by teaching assistant Mrs Jefferies was shared with all the children at the event.