Did anyone see Chrissie Wellington on BBC News this morning, as part of the campaign for schools to make sport more attractive to girls?
I think its really great that they had someone like Chrissie involved, she is a fantastic role model to young girls. But one of the suggestions in the BBC new story is to introduce activities that are more appealling to girls like zumba and dance classes. I'm not sure how I feel about that - seems a bit like getting girls interested in sport by giving them the idea that 'real sports' aren't for girls?
that's the reality though. my neice won't play sport at school because it is unfeminine and because it'll make her look unattractive.
i reckon she'd be more likely to want to do zumba or tap dancing or summat. it's better than nothing (provided girls can still do sport if they want to). this just provides an alternative. plus it is physical education...and not sport.
and in any case, aerobics is bloody hard work.
but i take the point
I do agree, unfortunately it's a fact of life - and it has nothing specifically to do with boys, I spent my teen years at an all-girls grammar school. You have to understand, there comes a point in a teenage girl's life when her appearance is all-important and most hate looking foolish leaping about in school shorts and getting all sweaty or muddy. They are also usually embarrassed to be seen changing their clothes and exposing their developing bodies in front of the other girls, especially their enemies. If giving dance classes or aerobics gets them active then I'm all for it.
I was one of the odd ones, as I joined my first athletic club at age 12, enjoyed school PE except for hockey which I thought was barbaric, and learned to swim at an early age. Loved rounders.
True, better to have them doing something than nothing, and there is nothing wrong with aerobics or dancing, I just don't like the idea that the answer to girl's not participating in sports is to give them completely different activities. Why not try addressing the idea that sports are unattractive?
Ultra Ironwolf - I do understand, I went through that phase myself! But I think I would have hated being shoved in a leotard and into a dance class even more than going to hockey practice in the pouring rain.
I used to play hockey, IW, and it WAS barbaric
We had no choice, we had to do sport (this was a very long time ago), and we all played hockey, netball, rounders in the summer, etc. Dancing was not an option!
Giving kids the choice of different activities is no bad thing, if it mean they do some kind of exercise. I've not tried zumba, but I understand it's a good workout.
Well - isn't school supposed to be preparing you for the adult world?
Which is where, when women do "physical activity" it very much tends to be yoga, or step class, or legs-bums-and-tums, or pilates, or distance running/ jogging, or dance, or cycling, or tennis, or "going to the gym", or hiking, with a minor helping of martial arts, table tennis, synchronized swimming, mountain clumbing, and soccer.
I really do not see what the big deal is about teams and competition. For heaven's sake I used to play in a works 5-a-side game (where I was the only woman but not noticably the worst player) and the goals were never counted and who was in what team changed from week to week. And most male runners, like female, are mainly trying to improve their own fitness, so how, really, is that all that different from going to yoga or zumba and learning how the hell not to fall over or collapse red-faced in the middle of the session?
Is it just girls? I identify with all of the above. I avoided doing sport at school because I didn't enjoy it and was crap at it. I've never enjoyed football and was too weedy for rugby. I did swim though but from what I gather, that is less of a choice these days do to funding problems.
CW should be a great role model, but despite how in love with her posters here are, very few non tri people have heard of her. She can't be there by herself, there needs to be a panel of role models and if some of them are street dancers too then that can't be a bad thing.
As long as the hardy hoydens who would prefer to romp about a muddy field whacking each other senseless with hockey sticks aren't forced into lycra for wussy Zumba classes, what's the problem? IMO anything that gets girls (and boys of course) doing any kind of physical activity can't be bad.
I wasn't crap at all sports at school, but I was crap at the ones that counted ... and that's where it all went pear-shaped for me. Rounders and Netball seemed to be the thing you were measured against, if you couldn't do that then you weren't picked for teams for anything else ... the fact that my cross country was OK, I was pretty good at long jump and really quite good at fencing were totally irelevant. It made my life pretty miserable - last person standing on the side to be picked for teams etc, and that rolled into general acceptance in class (or not, in my case!). I'm not sure introducing gender specific activities is the way forward as I'd say it's not just the girls that suffer from this, but certainly a wider selection, where it's not all about good hand-eye coordination/ ability to dodge people etc. What's wrong with street dance, fencing, yoga etc too. I can't comment on the getting dirty/grubby thing because I loved doing that from an early age, but certainly the report in the paper was that that was what was causing the problems ... I guess that is a reflection of our more image-conscious generation.
We definitely need more women in sport to get onto this - I'd like to think some of our current hopeful Olympic sportswomen could help here. Chrissie is an inspiration for sure, the fact that she has had eating disorder problems in the past (and admits they are not definitely banished if she wasn't training) is also a very current issue too.
It is old news anyway, I'm sure that most schools have been offering non-team and non-competitive activities to their girls (and boys) for years.
At school I was good at rugby and cross country but crap at soccer. When I injured my knee and was dropped from the rugby squad, winter games was purgatory until I encountered hockey. Proper warfare, with real sticks!
O for god sake; why do we constantly pander to bloody kids.
The exams are piss easy so it's thou shall not fail
The "hard" subjects are being dropped because there are "easier" options.
Now we want to change the sports so they appeal to girls because they don't want to do it.
School is supposed to prepare you for life; which is full of lots of things we don't want to do.
See, that sort of talk just sounds like justification for bullying to me.
You are small and physically weak, lacking in skill? Tough - get down and eat mud. Competitive sport is good for those who enjoy it. There are other ways to build character.
The point being made is that it is about encouraging physical activity in those not interested in sport. Force people against their will to play and chances are, they will only play the once a week and stop as soon as they leave school, maybe never doing any exercise again. That's if they don't work out how to bunk off of games which was always the easiest of classes to do so with.
I have two girls and I have found with the right encouragement they can aspire to anything. I have a daughter ,27 who played football since she was 11 years of age and still playing; it was hard for her as in those days girls playing the game was still not accepted but in time she won a lot of respect. My little one, 9, now enjoys running, she does the odd park run and has joined a athletic club. Both girls have had my full backing. Now and again remind them how much fun they get from sport and the good friends they meet in the teams clubs rather than listen to silly girls in school who do not get involved in sport or are even jealous.
With regards to schools and introducing 'girlie' activities, my wife works in a primary school as a sports co-ordinator. They offer a wide range of traditional sports (football, rugby, hockey, netball, cross-country and athletics to name a few) as well as Zumba, street-dance, gymnastics and something else which involves waving ribbons in the air.
The latter classes have fewer attendees than the traditional events as most of the girls are out on the field! The girls who never joined in the sports before the introduction of the new classes, generally still don't. They either like being active or don't and unless they get the right encouragement, nothing seems to change.
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