Pride of Scotland: Lifetime achievement award for former Fife teacher and creator of The Daily Mile

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A Fife teacher who sparked a global fitness revolution has received the ‘lifetime achievement award’ at this year’s Pride of Scotland Awards.

Elaine Wyllie, from Burntisland, created the Daily Mile – a simple fitness initiative getting children active every day – which is now followed by more than five million children across the world.

While she was headteacher at St Ninian’s Primary School in Stirling in 2012, Elaine became increasingly concerned by some pupils’ lack of fitness and came up with the idea of getting them to run, jog or walk a mile around the school playing field every day.

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Within just four weeks, pupils’ fitness levels had dramatically increased, their attention levels and behaviour in class were improved and parents commented that their children were more active and alert and were sleeping much better.

Elaine Wyllie won the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Daily Record Pride of Scotland Awards.  (Pic: Alasdair MacLeod)Elaine Wyllie won the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Daily Record Pride of Scotland Awards.  (Pic: Alasdair MacLeod)
Elaine Wyllie won the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Daily Record Pride of Scotland Awards. (Pic: Alasdair MacLeod)

By the end of the year, not one child at the school was deemed overweight by the school’s nurse.

Since starting the initiative in the one school in Stirling, Elaine has grown The Daily Mile into a charitable foundation that encourages children and young people to lead physically active lifestyles.

The initiative has been adopted by more than 9000 schools across the UK and 20,000 schools worldwide. The schools taking part are in more than 90 countries and there are more than five million children involved.

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Elaine, 67, who has since retired from teaching and has dedicated herself to introducing The Daily Mile to schools across the UK and abroad, said: “From a simple yet effective initiative launched at a school in Stirling it is amazing to see how it has grown to make a difference to the lives of children on a global scale.”

Elaine received her award from Trainspotting actor James Cosmo on Monday at a red carpet awards dinner in Glasgow.

The Pride of Scotland Awards, sponsored by TSB, celebrate ordinary people doing extraordinary things.

Elaine was just one of three Fife winners at the awards this year.

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Asif Iqbal received the Outstanding Bravery award after saving a man from a burning car on the A919 near Leuchars with seconds to spare.

Teenager Kaylynn Donald was one of the two recipients of the Teenager of Courage award this year.

Kaylynn, 13, was brutally attacked on a school bus by a group of bullies as she travelled home from Bell Baxter High School in October.

Alongside fellow award winner Abbie Jarvis, from Glasgow, Kaylynn waived her anonymity to speak out following violent bullying attacks that shocked the nation, backing a campaign to support victims of youth violence.

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