Elaine's Story

A History of The Daily Mile

Elaine Wyllie MBE, founder of The Daily Mile was the headteacher at St Ninian’s Primary School, Stirling, Scotland, when she founded The Daily Mile. Concerned by the lack of fitness displayed by children within the school, the children were encouraged to run around the school’s oval for 15 minutes a day to improve their overall fitness – and so, The Daily Mile was born in February 2012.

By September 2012, the entire school was participating in The Daily Mile and the local community had begun to recognise the impact that The Daily Mile was having on the children. At the end of 2012, not one of the 57 primary school children at St Ninian’s was deemed “overweight” by the school’s nurse.

Since Elaine’s retirement in 2015, she and her husband, John Wyllie, have dedicated their time and passion to promoting The Daily Mile initiative across the UK and beyond. In 2015, Elaine won the Pride of Britain’s “Teacher of the year award”, due to her passion for children’s health and wellbeing within the education community.

In 2016, INEOS recognised Elaine’s passion for The Daily Mile and committed to being title sponsor of the initiative. With their support, the Foundation was established and employees were based at the INEOS offices in London, England. In June 2016, Elaine was also presented as an Honorary Graduate of the University of Stirling, as a Master of the Arts.

In July 2017, Elaine had the pleasure of meeting HRH Prince Phillip, when handing out Gold Duke of Edinburgh certificates. The Foundation also established partnerships with Public Health Wales & the Welsh Government, and Active Scotland & the Scottish Government – The Daily Mile continued to spread widely across the UK. In late 2017, The Daily Mile Fit For Life brand was developed – which was launched April 2018 – to truly provide children with the ability to get #FitForLife.

In February 2018, the Foundation, INEOS and ITV announced their partnership – with ITV to be The Daily Mile’s official media partner in the United Kingdom. Since the launch, The Daily Mile has had two advertisements featured on UK television, and the initiative has been featured on such programmes as Good Morning Britain and This Morning.

In January 2019, Elaine was named in HRH the Queen’s New Years Honours list for her ‘services to the fitness of children’. On 28th March 2019, Elaine received her MBE from HRH Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, in a service at Buckingham Palace.

The Foundation continues to focus solely on promoting The Daily Mile initiative, spearheaded by Elaine’s passion, enthusiasm and knowledge of the educational system, to all children across the globe. And, through The Daily Mile Fit For Life brand, hope to tie families together in their practice of The Daily Mile and encourage cross-sectional take-up across generations.