School PE – Is anyone else scarred for life?


Urgh! The mere thought of PE lessons at school is enough to fill me with dread.

Primary school wasn’t too bad.

But secondary school – OMG! Scar central.

I don’t know what was worse – the obligatory uniform PE knickers (they had nothing on Bridget Jones’s big pants) or freezing in mid-winter trying to avoid playing sport I absolutely detested, namely hockey.

I get the whole “children need exercise” that is rammed down our throats, to make us feel better that we are being forced to play something we:

a) clearly have no interest in

b) are absolutely no good at whatsoever

c) would prefer to be doing pretty much anything else but

BUT surely over the years the educated bods in education might have actually cottoned on to the fact that not all children like all sports.

So why are thousands of school-kids still being put through the torture of having to endure sports lessons in sports they have absolutely no desire to play?

Most secondary schools these days (or maybe it’s just the ones where I live) have had shed loads of money thrown at them to build state-of-the art Gym blocks – complete with fitness gyms, dance studios, etc. But yet, they still insist on making the students do the bog standard crappy sports subjects of old.

I applied for a job in Australia a while back (wishful thinking, one day I’ll make it down under … do you think I could claim asylum? Nah, didn’t think so.)  Anyway, I thought I’d better check out schools for SC, just on the off-chance Lady Luck was smiling down on me.

And frankly, they seem to have nailed the sports thing.  One school I checked out offered the children a variety of sports from which they could choose what they wanted to play during the winter and summer seasons.  So boys weren’t forced to play football or rugby – they had a choice from football, rugby, basketball and hockey (I think) – and similarly in the summer they weren’t forced to run around a track or play cricket but again had a choice from cricket, tennis and swimming.

Surely, this might be a more sensible option for secondary schools in this country to adopt.  After all, they have a huge number of PE staff and not all teachers are teaching every lesson.

And if the students were given a choice as to what to play, maybe they might actually begin to enjoy PE instead of having this looming sense of dread every time a PE lessons sails into view on the timetable.

So were you left scarred by your PE experience at school or did you enjoy it?

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