Sunderland pupils take on Niall’s Mile

Staff and pupils at East Herrington Academy, Sunderland, taking part in Niall's Mile with Mascot Samson the Cat on Tuesday.

Staff and pupils at East Herrington Academy, Sunderland, taking part in Niall's Mile with Mascot Samson the Cat on Tuesday.

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HUNDREDS of youngsters stepped out for a community walk inspired by a Sunderland AFC legend.

Up to 500 pupils and their teachers took part in the latest Niall’s Mile, at East Herrington Primary School.

The free annual event, now in its fourth year, includes a series of walks designed to encourage participation in light exercise and promote the benefits of healthy living.

Named after Black Cats legend and former chairman Niall Quinn, Niall’s Mile has been organised by the Foundation of Light in partnership with Sunderland NHS Teaching Primary Care Trust.

“It was absolutely fantastic,” said Allyson Bond, a teacher at the Balmoral Terrace school.

“We had a great day. The children really enjoyed themselves, as they always do.

“This is the third or fourth year that we’ve taken part in the walk and it is always a great experience.”

The walkers were accompanied by staff from the Foundation of Light, Sunderland AFC’s official charity, and club mascot Samson.

“We marked out a route around the school and the surrounding area,” said Ms Bond.

“As well as being a nice day for the children, it’s also good for the community to see them out and about.

“The sun was also shining, as it always seems to do when we do the walk, which made it an even better experience.”

Organisers at the Foundation of Light also hailed the event a success.

Jill McVeigh, assistant head of lifelong learning, said: “It was great to see the children and teachers of East Herrington Primary School in their Sunderland colours, getting well into the spirit of Niall’s Mile.

“The campaign is about getting people participating in fun, physical activities that cumulatively can make a big difference to their overall health.

“By all the smiles on display, I’d say we are well on our way to achieving that with this school.”

Twitter: @SunderlandEcho