Portsmouth youngsters running a mile each day to keep healthy

Pupils at Northern Parade Junior School have been getting stuck into a healthy lifestyle challenge

Picture: Sarah Standing (161276-6612)

Pupils at Northern Parade Junior School have been getting stuck into a healthy lifestyle challenge Picture: Sarah Standing (161276-6612)

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YOUNG school pupils have been going the extra mile in a bid to get fit – literally.

Each morning the 90 youngsters in Year 6 at Northern Parade Junior School are running up to a mile.

From left, Beth Vince, Natasha Shanley, Demi Hockridge and Maddison Harper (161276-2888)

From left, Beth Vince, Natasha Shanley, Demi Hockridge and Maddison Harper (161276-2888)

It is part of a bid to teach healthy living – and teachers have praised the children for their enthusiasm.

Beth Vince enjoys the daily run – which is timed on Fridays to give the pupils a chance to beat their times from one week to the next.

Beth, 10, said: ‘I like to run before school – it’s fun. It helps me to keep fit.

‘I feel great when I’ve finished. I did 12 laps the other morning.

‘I’m practising every day to reach my goal of 16 laps, which is one mile.’

The idea was tested in the last two weeks of summer term and is set to expand for all years when the school’s refurbishment is complete.

Pupils in other year groups are also taking part in the healthy living scheme.

That includes coming up with healthy lunches to have at school.

Year 2 pupil Charlie Jones, six, said: ‘I enjoy eating the wraps my dad makes me.

‘I love ham and I like apples and raisins as they give me energy.’

Assistant headteacher Nina Marabese said pupils had taken to the morning runs well and were keen to take part.

She said: ‘They come in and do it within 10 or 15 minutes.

‘They still get all their work done. They come in and they’re really focused.

‘We have to do some work in the morning.

‘They’re desperate to go out and do the run.’

The run takes place each morning at 8.45am and teachers say it gets pupils ready for classes.

Year 2 pupil Roxie Storey, six, takes part in dancing each morning at the school.

She said: ‘It wakes me up ready for learning.

‘My favourite song to dance too is Black Magic.’

Nina added: ‘We’ve been lucky that we’ve had such strong support with the initiative.

‘It becomes a positive thing, healthy eating and living and exercise.’

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