2024 Winner

Elaine Wyllie


Fife teacher who founded a simple fitness initiative that has been taken up by more than five million children worldwide

As headteacher at St Ninian’s Primary School in Stirling, Elaine became increasingly concerned by some pupils’ lack of fitness. 
She came up with the idea of getting them to run, jog or walk a mile around the school field every day. Within just four weeks, fitness levels had dramatically increased, attention levels and behaviour in class were improved and parents commented that their children were more active and alert, and were sleeping much better. By the end of the year, not one child at the school was deemed overweight by the school’s nurse. That was back in 2012, and since then Elaine has grown The Daily Mile into a charitable foundation that encourages children and young people to lead physically active lifestyles.

Children at more than 9,000 UK schools, and 20,000 schools worldwide, across more than 90 countries, have signed up, with more than five million children taking part.

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.”