All Blacks rugby stars visit Edinburgh schoolchildren to support them on the Daily Mile

The Kiwi’s are in town for tomorrow’s Autumn international at Murrayfield

The All Blacks took time out from their Northern Hemisphere tour today to visit schoolchildren in Edinburgh to help inspire more children across the country to get active through The Daily Mile.

Sixty local schoolchildren from Leith Walk Primary School had the opportunity to take part in a very special Daily Mile at Drummond Community High School with their guests from New Zealand and receive rugby skills coaching from All Blacks players ahead of their match against Scotland tomorrow.

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This comes as Scottish children stepped their way into the history books in October, making Scotland the world’s first Daily Mile Nation. It means that more than half of Scottish primary schools are now participating in The Daily Mile. The initiative encourages children to run, jog, wheel or walk for just 15 minutes a day in the fresh air with friends - promoting mental and physical wellbeing, which is especially important to help reduce the strain on the NHS this winter. Teachers can also take part alongside children, strengthening school relationships and attainment outcomes. It was started by former headteacher Elaine Wyllie MBE in Stirling in 2012 and has grown every year, with the support of INEOS. Globally, there are now nearly four million children taking part in more than 16,000 schools in 87 countries around the world. It is endorsed by some of the most successful athletes including marathon world record holder Eliud Kipchoge, British track and field athlete Eilidh Doyle and the All Blacks.

New Zealand rugby stars Tupou Vaa'i & Ethan de Groot pictured with the pupils from Leith Primary School on their Daily Mile.

The Daily Mile founder Elaine Wyllie MBE, said: “We are forever grateful for the incredible support we receive from athletes around the world and we can’t thank the All Blacks enough for taking time out of their busy schedules to come down and share their passion for daily exercise with the local schoolchildren. Their influence really does go a long way to inspire kids to get active outdoors and join in with their schoolmates. Just 15 minutes of daily physical activity improves a child’s mood, concentration and memory - enhancing their ability to learn.”

All Blacks captain Sam Whitelock, said: “It’s fantastic to be in Scotland supporting the charity of our sponsor INEOS and getting the chance to run alongside the kids and teach them some of our best rugby moves! We’ve been so impressed by the work The Daily Mile is doing to get kids more active and bring communities together through daily exercise - it’s something so simple but effective that everyone can benefit from.”

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Leith Walk Primary School headteacher Mr Gorrie, added: “This has been a terrific opportunity for the children at Leith Walk Primary School to take part in the Daily Mile alongside the All Blacks, and to receive some rugby coaching from the most famous of all international teams. The children have had a terrific time today. They were so excited to meet the All Blacks.

“Seeing the amazing skill and fitness of the All Black players first hand, will certainly have increased the children’s motivation to be active and participate in sport. On behalf of everybody who attended I would like to say a huge thank you to the All Blacks and wish them all the very best for the rest of their Northern Hemisphere tour.”

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The pupils with the Kiwi stars, pictured in the back row (centre) from left to right: Tupou Vaa'i, Ethan de Groot, and Caleb Clarke.
The players gave the pupils a high five at the end of their Daily Mile.
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The New Zealand players took time out to talk to the pupils.
The pupils were also taught some rugby skills.