Shrewsbury Half Marathon Primary Schools Challenge – reflection and celebration

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As the dust settles from the thousands of running feet at the West Midlands Showground, we are reflecting on what has been a fantastically received and, above all, a great fun whole-school challenge.  It seems a long time ago that Mr Ostermeyer met Joe, organiser of the Shrewsbury Half Marathon weekend, to discuss how Oakmeadow could take part in this year’s event.  Roll forwards 6 months, and it is with great pride that not only were we the school with the most participants doing the final 1.1 miles (119 children were signed up – more than 50 above any other school), but that we were, as far as we are aware, the only school to embrace this as a whole-school initiative to increase activity levels and well-being for our children.  It is amazing that we managed to get over 350 children out every Friday afternoon to enjoy simply moving!  The smiles on faces have been fantastic to see, and it has not been uncommon to walk down the corridor to the regular questioning of, ‘are we doing our run today? It’s my favourite part of the week!’  Huge thank yous must go to: all members of staff for their support in organising the children to come out every week; those who gave up their time to help in the running of the final event itself; parents for your support in kitting out the children despite the weather, and those who took the time to email in to offer your thanks and support in what we were trying to achieve; the cleaners for their patience, and above all the children for their efforts and enthusiasm!  Mr Ostermeyer feels like he has certainly got to know lots more children in our school.

So what happens now?

There has been a huge shift from what defines ‘Physical Education’ as a curricula subject in the past few years.  Since the legacy of London 2012, momentum has rightly moved the focus to now seeing PE as just one part of leading an active and healthy lifestyle, one that also tackles sedentary behaviour as well as promoting suitable dietary and nutritious eating as part of this.  This is a nationwide movement, and we are working and learning all of the time about how we can help support this for our children and our wider community.  The Chief Medical Officer recommends ’60 minutes of moderate to vigorous daily  physical activity’ for primary aged children, of which 30 minutes should be completed in school.   As a staff, we are now considering how we can take this enthusiasm and momentum achieved from this challenge into incorporating physical activity beyond our timetabled PE lessons so that it becomes embedded in our daily school life.  We have been aware of the Daily Mile initiative for a number of years, and something of this ilk such as ’15 minutes of fitness’ is certainly in the pipeline.  Previously what seemed a difficult initiative to put into practice has actually been shown to be easily achievable.  Watch this space for the new term in September.

In the meantime…

If you would like to share any photos taken from the event, please email them in to admin@oakmeadowprimary.co.uk, marked FAO Mr Ostermeyer, and we will get them published on our blog and newsletter.

Please check out Ethan and Isla’s excellent interview from the event which was live on BBC radio Shropshire – 2 hours 45 minutes in.  They were fantastic ambassadors for our school, as all of our children are.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p0695565#play

Finally…

This Thursday afternoon, 21 June, is our celebration 1.1 mile for all children to complete their half marathon challenge and to realise what an achievement they will have achieved, together with each other’s love and support.  Please wear school uniform as usual; children will get changed into PE kit after lunch.  Those who received their orange tshirts are welcome to wear these for the event – it would be great to see that sea of orange again!

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