Andy Murray to support Daily Mile initiative

Tennis ace will use public profile to champion active lifestyle across the UK.

Tennis legend Andy Murray has announced a partnership with the NHS, which will see him working across the UK to promote the benefits of physical activity. The first example of this collaboration is his support of the children’s physical activity programme, the Daily Mile.

As part of NHS70 celebrations Murray is using his public profile to support projects which have the aim of encouraging more people to start a regular habit that leads to a more active lifestyle. A key part of the NHS70 is encouraging people to take care of their own health and increasing levels of physical activity will go a long way towards this.

Growing levels of obesity in adults and children is a major health issue for the NHS, as it can lead to a number of serious and potentially life-threatening conditions, such as Type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, some types of cancer and stroke. Obesity can also affect quality of life and lead to psychological problems.

The cost to the NHS of treating diabetes alone is around £10 billion every year - nearly 10% of the NHS budget. It is estimated that obesity is responsible for more than 30,000 deaths each year and that obesity could overtake tobacco smoking as the biggest cause of preventable death.

Murray will champion The Daily Mile in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The Daily Mile was started in a Scottish primary school in 2012 and has become one of the leading initiatives for improving children’s health and wellbeing in the UK. The aim of The Daily Mile is to improve the physical, social, emotional and mental health and wellbeing of our children – regardless of age, ability or personal circumstances. Murray will support The Daily Mile Foundation across Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland in inspiring more schools to participate in this transformational initiative.

Murray said:

“I am a huge supporter of the NHS, but we all know it is under pressure. If we can increase levels of activity as a nation, it helps improve mood, self-esteem and energy, but it will also reduce the strain on the NHS by keeping us healthier. It’s especially important to instil these habits early and support and inspire young people to maintain them as they go through their teenage years.

“I am proud to be supporting The Daily Mile. It is a simple initiative which benefits children's physical and mental health along with their well-being."

Dr Catherine Calderwood, Chief Medical Officer for Scotland, said:

“Andy is without a doubt a fantastic sporting ambassador. He is hard working, committed and passionate about staying active, fit and healthy. It is wonderful to have him working alongside the NHS to promote the benefits of physical activity, and I hope this will encourage more people to become more active, more often – just 15 minutes of exercise a day can make a massive difference to people’s lives.”

Elaine Wyllie, founder of The Daily Mile, said:

“It is wonderful that Andy Murray has chosen to be an ambassador for The Daily Mile Foundation. To have Andy on board highlights the positive impact The Daily Mile is having across the UK. He is a fantastic sporting role model for the children of Scotland, Northern Ireland, and Wales.  We are confident that this will inspire more schools across the UK to sign-up to The Daily Mile and experience the transformational health and well-being benefits that The Daily Mile provides.”

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