Sunderland families urged to get fit in Niall’s Miles

Joseph and his grandad Derrick Milburn at a Niall's Miles walk at Princess Anne Park in Washington.
Joseph and his grandad Derrick Milburn at a Niall's Miles walk at Princess Anne Park in Washington.
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Sunderland families are being asked to put their best foot forward and take part in a free walking event backed by the Foundation of Light.

Niall’s Miles, a scheme which aims to get families out and about to stay fit and healthy, hopes more people will get involved.

The partnership initiative between the Foundation of Light, the registered charity of Sunderland AFC, and All Together Sunderland with Active Sunderland, saw families turn out to enjoy a Mother’s Day walk last Sunday.

Now in its sixth year, Niall’s Miles sees club mascots Samson and Delilah take Sunderland families on free guided walks in parks and outdoor spaces across the city.

The aim is to get children to walk a mile every day, both in school and in their own time.

Nine-year-old Joseph Milburn, and his grandad Derrick, 72, from Hetton, took part in the weekend’s walk at Hetton Lyons Country Park.

His mum Samantha, 39, said: “Joseph, his dad and his grandad are all season ticket holders – they’re Sunderland-mad.

“So anything to do with the football club interests them.

“And because the walks are attended by Samson and Delilah, it makes them even more appealing for them.

“Joseph and his grandad have made it their mission to complete every Niall’s Miles walk this year.

“It was great to take part in Sunday’s walk, and I really hope more people and schools continue to get behind Niall’s Miles.”

Niall’s Miles are designed to promote the benefits of physical activity and family wellbeing.

A full programme of walks is published online each year.

Sunderland City Council leader Paul Watson said: “It would be great to see more families like the Milburns, getting involved – whether it is to spend more time together, or to get fitter and get active for free.”

No booking is necessary for Niall’s Miles walks.

For more information visit or for more ways to get fit as a family, visit:

Schools wishing to find out more a should call 0191 551 5191.