A fit bunch of P6 pupils at Springside Primary School – with a little help from their families – recently completed the Scotland to Malawi Walking Challenge.

That means they covered 19,102,807 steps – just over 8,000 miles – as a group in what was a phenomenal effort by them all.

This was an initiative driven by a range of partners across North Ayrshire and Dumfries and Galloway to improve health and well-being, by encouraging children and their families to engage in regular walking.

The importance of physical activity is widely known, regular physical activity is linked to a number of health benefits including healthy weight, positive mental wellbeing, enhanced bone and cardiovascular health.

The challenge was delivered within eight schools across North Ayrshire and Dumfries and Galloway and Springside Primary were the only school to complete the challenge.

Pedometers were provided for logging steps and it involved P6 pupils and their families working together, logging their daily steps using the World Walking website, until they reached the equivalent distance from Scotland to Malawi.

Following on from this wonderful effort, parents with the support of the Family Learning Team and Active Schools Co-ordinator have now built on their success and are trialling a parent led walking group.

Principal teacher Scott McMillan said: “A huge well done to everyone that took part. It really was fantastic fun and, even more importantly, has encouraged them to keep walking and form a parent led walking group.”

“The Challenge is all about promoting physical activity and having fun, something we actively encourage.”

Scotland's connections with Malawi began with Scottish missionary and explorer, David Livingstone, over 150 years ago.

Today, through the Scotland Malawi Partnership over 200 Scottish schools have active links with schools in Malawi or learn about Malawi as part of their curriculum.

This challenge covered the distance between Scotland and Malawi in recognition of the rich and varied connections between the two nations.