Cherry had her first sport’s day this week.
There were so many parents watching, and as we sat on the edge of the field waiting for it to start I couldn’t help but think back to my own experience of sport’s day and of P.E lessons in general.
Even the phrase ‘sport’s day’ still brings about horrible feelings inside of me, feelings of dread and fear. I think I must have had a really bad experience early on because I flat out refused to go to them after that and didn’t attend a single one at secondary school. Watching all the mums get up to do their race was enough to bring on a panic attack!
I know the idea of sport’s day is for it to all be a bit of fun, something for everyone to enjoy at the end of term, and for many it is but the thing is that not everyone is sporty and not everyone wants to get up and do something in front of a huge crowd of people. And for those kids sport’s day is anything but fun which is why I think it should be optional.
I really believe that the way sport is dealt with in schools can have a long-term negative effect on some children, one that can stay with them for the rest of their lives and that’s pretty serious given the rate at which childhood obesity is rising in this country.
The problem is that ‘sports’ and ‘exercise’ are treated as the same thing when in actual fact they are completely different. One is optional and done for enjoyment and one is something we have to do in order to live a healthy life.
If kid’s are put off exercise at an early age because they’ve ended up feeling humiliated by joining in with a school sport that made them uncomfortable then they will always carry that feeling with them and as a result will probably avoid exercise.
I am one of those people. I can’t remember when I started to hate P.E lessons but I do know that all my memories of them are bad. From being made to wear the spare pair of gym pants when I forgot my kit to standing out in the freezing cold wearing nothing but a t-shirt and not being allowed to put a jumper on, what was all that about?!
I’m not sporty and I’m not competitive and as a result was terrible at everything we did in our P.E lessons. If I saw a hockey ball coming towards me then I would run the other way, there was no way I was going to risk an injury to try and beat the other team.
Of course because of this when it came to the part where the team leader had to pick people for their team I was always left until last. I’m not sure if this system is still carried out in schools but I really do believe it needs to be scrapped.
Why make kids feel bad for lacking skills in a certain area, it doesn’t happen in music or language lessons so why P.E?
It’s no surprise to hear that by the time I was at secondary school I stopped doing P.E lessons altogether. I would fake a note each week and spend the time sat on the stage where the boy I fancied was also bunking, incidentally that boy is who you all know as Mr C 😉
I think if sport’s day was optional and kids made the choice to join in because they wanted to and not because they had to then I bet you wouldn’t see any more of the poor little things sobbing at the start line.
As for Cherry, well she was fine because she is too young to be aware of what’s happening.
I’m being very careful not to pass on any of my own feelings regarding the subject to her and will just observe and see what areas she does well in and if competitive sports isn’t one of them then I will help her find a way to exercise that she does enjoy.
And if she ever comes t0 me and tells me that she really doesn’t want to join in with sport’s day then I will tell her she doesn’t have to.
What do you think?
Do you have good memories of your P.E lessons?