Negotiating the Daily Mile Challenge; looking-like a walking break from the classroom

Gavin Ward*, David Scott

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


The purpose of this study was to privilege the views of both pupils and staff in one school’s adoption of the Daily Mile Challenge (DMC). Listening seriously to the views of pupils, who are often the unheard subjects in whole school exercise interventions, the aim was to understand the meanings derived from the requirement to practice the DMC. Data are drawn from non-participant observations, 4 individual teacher interviews and 4 pupil focus groups with a total of 12 students. In order to understand the function of the DMC to its participants, a socio-cultural position was adopted using Dewey’s ends-in-view to analyse the data. This process revealed that complete adaptation of the DMC in name and form created an indeterminate space both for the teachers and pupils; an in-between space of not-classroom, not-break-time, not-running and not-a-mile. This allowed the DMC to be completed when teachers could fit it into their teaching, which was not on a daily or a regular basis. This in-between negotiated space formed the overarching landscape of the DMC. For the teachers, promoting purpose through moving in an orderly fashion was characterised by looking-like the DMC. Within this end-in-view, the pupils had to find an acceptable way to take a moving break. Rather than address unfounded concerns about fitness and risks of obesity, the adoption of the DMC in this school has inadvertently highlighted an important need; for pupils to have an outside break from pressurised classroom performances and to have more opportunities for quality social interactions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)119-134
Number of pages16
JournalSport, Education and Society
Issue number2
Early online date11 Dec 2019
Publication statusPublished - 12 Feb 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Daily mile
  • Primary school
  • Health
  • Obesity
  • Pupil views
  • Teacher views
  • Salutogenic


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