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Opinion: What impact will extra compulsory school sport have on LGBT pupils?

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  1. I actually disagree. I was a classic chubby, wheezy bespectacled child and due to a private education had to take part in team sports. I hated it, was always picked last and even the teachers called me names. But these things are character building. Life is full of things we don’t want to do or are hopeless at. Part of school life is preparing for that. And now I’m in my 30s I love sport, I’ve done a half marathon this year and do Yoga twice a week. Kids don’t need wrapping in cotton wool, even the gay ones. Focus on the bullies and not the sports.

    1. Wow good for you, arsehole. Not everyone is like you, not everyone can survive being bullied.

      1. I said focus on the bullies (including teachers) not the sports, I abhore bullies and bullying, but banning sport because some people are weak at it is stupid, we all have to do things we don’t like in life, (the character building part was more the being forced to do something I was rubbish at rather than the names) . And I don’t see how you calling me an arsehole is any different from other name calling, you calling me a name because you don’t like my opinion? Bit hypocritical isn’t it?

        1. Chris Ward 16 Aug 2012, 4:59pm

          My article suggests focusing on enhancing sports and the variety available. Nobody is suggesting banning sport, certainly not me.

      2. Paddyswurds 16 Aug 2012, 5:39pm

        @Sevrin…
        …… so you don’t think calling someone arsehole because of their success story is bullying, Sevrin?. What was it that really stung you…the fact that he had a private education or perhaps that he was wheezy and chubby?
        No, in my opinion it is because he made you feel like a failure because you possibly let the bullies, which you now emulate, win.. Piss off and do your festering bullying on the Daily Wail or Smellagraph.

    2. Chris Ward 16 Aug 2012, 1:54pm

      I’d argue there’s a halfway mark between wrapping kids “in cotton wool” and expecting them to put up with namecalling from teachers.

      1. Spanner1960 16 Aug 2012, 11:28pm

        Calling somebody a “tub of lard” or a “lanky streak of piss” never hurt anybody. There’s no damn backbone left, now all the kids get driven by their Mums to school (because there are paedophiles on every corner these days) and never made to do anything they don’t like because it might irreparably damage the little possum’s psyche.

        Some of these kids just need a bloody good wake up call.

        1. absolutely, it’s vitally important that anyone who is not good at sports is insulted repeatedly by teachers and pupils alike, until they become good at sports or attempt suicide.

          insults only make the person doing the insulting feel superior at the expense of the self confidence and happiness of others.

          1. Spanner1960 17 Aug 2012, 8:30am

            Oh please.
            “He called me a nasty name so I’m going to kill myself”
            When I was a boy we had so many dead bodies on the the sports fields we couldn’t play for tripping over them.

            Whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.
            I’m not saying one should constantly hurl insults, but a few jibes never hurt anybody. It is reactions like yours today that result in the ineffectual cotton-wool kids we have today that go running to the authorities every time somebody calls them a name.

          2. @Spanner – “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”. In my experience, what doesn’t kill you can give you crippling emotional problems which, on top of everything else LGBT people go through, might actually kill you in the end.

            Not a helpful attitude.

          3. Paddyswurds 17 Aug 2012, 3:07pm

            @Spanner..
            ……”Whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” Oh really Spanner. And what class of psychology degree do you hold. Rubbish, frankly. Go tell your medieval motto to a soldier just home from some conflict or other, who has just survived being killed and now suffers from acute post traumatic stress which will probably kill him anyway or worse someone else when he loses control completely and goes on a rampage, or any of the thousands who suffer such after affects to extreme stress, which bullying is, every year. Mind you I sort of expected that this was your childhood environment because over the last couple of years since I started using PN, I have formed the opinion that you had a traumatic childhood, not unlike my own but from a different cause. I wasn’t bullied at school, , but was by a domineering mother. It didn’t kill me but i now suffer the consequences. So absolutely…Whatever doesn’t kill you often makes you weaker and ill and maybe even dead eventually.

    3. Lynda Yilmaz 16 Aug 2012, 4:29pm

      Well I was also one of the fat kids and it struck me that most PE teachers were vile little bullies who used to force all the non sporty types into doing things just so everyone else could call them names. I can’t imagine for one minute where this extra curricular time will be found and anyway the whole thing sounds like ‘Oh it’s Wimbledon week let’s play tennis syndrome!’

      1. Chris Ward 16 Aug 2012, 5:04pm

        I genuinely hope it isn’t just a passing fad. It was the vicious nastiness (both verbal and physical) at school that put me off football and it took me years to enjoy and appreciate the sport. These days, I sometimes even play it socially (even though I always let goals in and am absolutely no good at it!).

        If the government wanted to pump funding into sports as a result of the Olympic success, I’d have thought they might want to give school students an opportunity to try out the sports in which we did really well and/or won medals. Timetabling more football and rugby seems to me to be a wasted opportunity to invoke a passion amongst children for competitive sport.

  2. I was always very tired after doing PE. We had it twice per week. One day for 70 minutes and another day was 140 minutes. Great exercise and fun but exhausting.

    1. The is not really about how it will affect LGBT pupils but how it will affect ALL pupils. My experience of PE was different in that I never heard any homophobic slurs. Coming out later in life means other pupils never treated me as LGBT cos as far as they were concerned I wasn’t. I’m not saying it was a positive or easy experience. I agree with Pip, the chubby, wheezy, short, bespectacled kids will always get picked last so making them endure that every day seems needlessly cruel. Having said that, those who enjoy sports shouldn’t be restricted. Whatever happened to options? Balance & moderation is key otherwise other subjects could suffer as a result. God knows kids these days need reading, writing and arithmetic skills even more than we did!

    2. Sorry, my comment was not meant sepcifically as a reply to Jim but just a general comment.

      1. No offence taken anyway. The only gay reference I recall from PE was pretty awful and on that day even my so called friends bullied me too. The teacher however let me go early and he kept the rest of the group behind for an extra 10 minutes after school. Not everyone in the group bullied me but it seemed like it at the time.

  3. Ben Foster 16 Aug 2012, 1:33pm

    I don’t see why extra sports for LGBT pupils affects them any more than it affects anyone else. I think two hours a day is way too long, though unless kids are going to stay in school longer. They do have a lot of OTHER things to learn, including social studies classes where they learn that homophobic name-calling like ‘ “He throws like a pansy”; “He runs like a girl”; “learn how to catch the ball, gayboy!’ etc are wrong.

    1. Agreed, this article only serves to further the stereotype that gays are bad at sport. Utter rot. Some people are bad at ball sports which is usually the focus of PE and this should be changed – sadly when you can’t catch a ball you called ‘gay’ – this author just did the same thing by writing this article!

      Eccentric people (often bad at sport) sometimes happen to be gay – being eccentric they are generally more likely to go against societies grain and hence are more likely to come out LOUD and PORUD – then we have to sit with the stereotype.. but big up to them for blazing the trail!

  4. And how is your reverse stereotyping that “gays don’t do sport” any better? As has been said, focus on stopping the bullying, not withdrawing PE from kids who desperately need some exercise and life experience away from their X-Boxes…

    1. Chris Ward 16 Aug 2012, 1:51pm

      Sorry, where did I say that “gays don’t do sport”? I also don’t understand what this has to do with withdrawing PE? I believe I was arguing for enhancing it.

      1. Suddenly Last Bummer 16 Aug 2012, 2:41pm

        Absolutely agree Chris.

  5. Sport, especially men’s sport, is highly homophobic. As are most male sports teachers. Therefore forcing kids to endure yet more hate is not going to be good for anyone. And cost the taxpayer more in treatment for mental health problems.

    1. Spanner1960 16 Aug 2012, 3:14pm

      So what is the alternative?
      Let all the softies and nancy boys off just so they won’t get bullied?
      Your touchy-feely attitude is frankly pathetic.

      The important factor is to ensure that the kids are adequately monitored and that bullying is nipped in the bud at all costs. That way, maybe we might start to see a turnaround in sport both at amateur and professional levels where gay people can give as good as any straight.

      1. Chris Ward 16 Aug 2012, 3:22pm

        “nancy boys”

        Wow. Haven’t heard that term since…. well, school actually!

        1. Christopher 16 Aug 2012, 9:34pm

          Spanner has a bit of an attitude problem, but actually, this time I agree with him. With the right teacher/coach, as most these days are being taught to deal with minorities more than any generation of teachers before, this should be a good thing all around.

          1. Spanner1960 16 Aug 2012, 11:09pm

            What fcking attitude!? ;)

        2. Spanner1960 16 Aug 2012, 11:29pm

          That’s precisely why I used it.
          Now go and stand in the corner and put your hands on your head.

          1. Yes it’s time to stop associating wimp behaviours with gays – it may not be nice to call someone a nancy boy but to me it means wimp – gay, straight, female, male – I’m no nancy boy but call me homo any time!

            When I don’t want to do a marathon with my boss she says oh come on don’t be a nancy boy – she’s not asking me not to be gay she is just saying don’t be such wimp!

      2. If the bullying is controlled the kids that have been pushed into a box that defines them as a ‘nancy boy’ they may find there’s things they enjoy they hadn’t previously considered. Sport does not equal bullying.

    2. What a load a sh*te. Where do you get such broad brushes from?! Yes to more sport and yes to teachers controlling the behaviour/bullying during them. Just like the rest of the time in school.

    3. “Sport, especially men’s sport, is highly homophobic. As are most male sports teachers. Therefore forcing kids to endure yet more hate is not going to be good for anyone. And cost the taxpayer more in treatment for mental health problems.”

      So you’re concerned about the affect this issue will have on public funds. What do you think the current impact of chronic conditions like obesity, heart disease, diabetes etc has on society now. All these illnesses are liked to poor diet and lack of exercise and at current rates things are going to get worse not better unless we take proactive steps to get kids working out. So what may I ask do you think we should do to deal with this problem?

  6. I never did PE when I was at school, always conveniently “lost” my kit. its not that I’m lazy I’m just not into sports, exercise should be promoted but sport should by no means be compulsory. if they are going to make a minimum of 2 hours PE compulsory maybe they should look at other subjects like Technology which are overlooked way too much, I would have loved and definitely would have benefited from more electronics lessons in high school. Also if they are going to make 2 hours PE compulsory maybe they should let the students each have an option of what sport they do, rather than making all students play football, rugby, etc let them go off into different classes for each sport, I used to love swimming and even though I was never any good I still enjoyed it and it did actually benefit me practically (unlike other sports we were taught).

    1. Thumbed down?? did I say something objectionable??

      1. PE is a subject and like another subject taught in school, and thus it should be given the same level of attention and seriousness. If a child doesn’t turn up to a Maths or History class they are likely get in trouble. This behaviour is condemned and why? on the grounds that these lessons are vital for the development of the child. I dare say PE at worst is as important, perhaps even more important. If properly funded and taught right, it involves:
        Communication, organisation, team working, management, cooperation, competition, quick thinking, persistence, tactics and strategy, planing, assertiveness (not aggressive), leadership, initiative, accepting responsibility and priority setting.
        Oh and least we forget the massive health benefits. So yes I thumbed you down because your excuses are not acceptable and I find it insulting to PE teachers people think we should treat it as a 2nd rated subject unworthy of our commitment.

    2. Spanner1960 16 Aug 2012, 3:10pm

      The exercise element is only part of the education.
      There is also learning to work as a team, communication, trust, learning how to lose as well as win, and many other factors that are important.
      Sliding off to just swim on your own is not going to help.

      1. All of those skills you mentioned are important in other subjects as far as I am aware, I don’t think I lack them. also when I did swimming we did do competitive swimming (water polo and racing) as well as the basics of being able to swim. I am not opposed to students being taught competitive sport but I think there should be more flexibility to allow the students to do things that teach important skills but also allow the students to learn a field that they feel comfortable with.

    3. “I never did PE when I was at school, always conveniently “lost” my kit.”
      I take it you’re the next generation then… the usual response to forgetting or loosing your kit at my school in the late 80′s was being forced to run around the gym in whatever questionable choice of underpants your mum had picked up from M&S, plus your school shoes. This was back in the day when there was no limit on how sadistic or pervy PE teachers were allowed to be.
      Speaking for myself, my memory progressively improved as the mental scars seared their way into my subconcious.
      Think yourself lucky you were offered an option B!

      1. Because things were harder for previous generations that means that things are ok now? I haven’t been to school in a long time but as far as I am aware not doing PE hasn’t had a negative effect on my future at all (which I would not have been able to say for other subjects). I still understand the importance of exercise and regularly do so to keep healthy, PE hasn’t had any effect on that (just a good deal of common sense has told me exercise is good).

        1. Tim Chapman 16 Aug 2012, 8:58pm

          I agree. I refused to attend PE/games from the age of 14 (even though it was compulsory to age 16) (well, what could they do?), and it hasn’t stopped me doing very well In life, thank you. It’s stupid that this subject is compulsory in school at all, let alone that there should be more compulsion. More sport/exercise, yes, for those who want it, but compulsion should only apply to Maths, English etc, not ritual humiliation.

    4. Problem is, if sport is not compulsory when will kids do it? They spend almost all their time sat in front of Xboxes. I hated football at school but I excelled at athletics and was good at rugby which when we played them, I thoroughly enjoyed it!

      1. Tim Chapman 16 Aug 2012, 9:00pm

        Perhaps, like me, they won’t do it. So what?

      2. I didn’t but I didn’t spend all my time in front of my Xbox either, its typical of older generations to think that younger generations are either lazy or into sports. I could ask the same think of you when you were young “Problem is, if sport is not compulsory when will kids do it? They spend almost all their time sat in front of their TVs” children should be encouraged to exercise yes but I think what will effectively be effectively 2 hours of compulsory football is over doing it a little. I’m not lazy I just figured that the time could be spent a little more productively in my case

  7. Tim Brierley 16 Aug 2012, 2:09pm

    I am all for sport/exercise in schools for the reason that physical exercise is good for people, in general. The trouble is most (usually state) schools offer a very limited range of sports to do and most are team sports (football, rugby union for the boys, hockey and netball for the girls). Homophobic bullying wherever it occurs in school should be challenged and it is not limited to the sports field. That said, I have known young LGBT kids being segregated to change, which simply reinforces the prejudices and bullying and is disgraceful. There are so many sports open to people these days. When I was in sixth form we could choose from a wide variety of sports (golf, cycling, cross country running, shooting, swimming, badminton etc. etc.) as long as you could travel to the venue then it was OK to go and do it (not all sports could be catered for on school premises). I wish I’d carried on refereeing rugby league – I’d’ve been the 1st out gay ref!

  8. Suddenly Last Bummer 16 Aug 2012, 2:41pm

    *shrugs*. Turn them into Tom Daleys? Closeted but adequate at sports?

  9. what a load off balls , if lgbt want equality then get off there ass s and take part in school events , look at all the gay athletes in the olympics do u think they cared if they were called names in scholl about time sports in schools were compulsary and cut down on these obese children whether gay str8 .

  10. Spanner1960 16 Aug 2012, 3:06pm

    As somebody that loathed PE/Games I still think it is an important element of education and growing up.

    Why should LGBT kids be let off the hook because they are “sensitive little lambs”?
    The combination of crap school dinners now offered, and poor diet leads to obesity and bad health, and as someone who is now a heavy smoker (that I began age 13) and also a Type I diabetic, I think it is imperative that some exercise is enforced. Not only that but it also helps many other things such as team building and setting personal targets and goals. I was talking to a neighbour only the other day that mentioned her kids didn’t do competitive sport any longer as this could “affect the child’s psychological welfare because they might lose.” – I find this PC attitude pathetic and bordering on the insane. Kids sometimes need a kick up the arse, maybe even more for the gay ones, because life sure isn’t going to get any easier, and maybe gaining a bit of backbone now might help them later on.

    1. Chris Ward 16 Aug 2012, 3:20pm

      I don’t recall saying LGBT kids should be “let off the hook”?

    2. I think it’s true that school – a horrible melting pot of the very worst characters you’ll ever meet given licence to behave exactly as they like with little or no consequences – prepares you for the fact that the world can be a horrible place. I do not think it makes you better or worse at coping with being relentlessly hounded for your sexuality or made to feel pathetic and useless because once out of school that becomes “illegal” and the law is finally on your side. In school it’s a messed up, reversed situation and what goes on there is nothing like reality. Forcing a person to face ritual humilitation from which there is no escape is neither character forming nor preparation for the big wide world because the big wide world simply does not tolerate it and the only character you get out of it is bitterness towards the people or kinds of people who made your life hell.

  11. It depends on the sport, it depends on what the changing facilities are, it depends on the level (and type) of supervision, theres lots of factors in this. Personally i hated PE with a passion as it seemed to be nobody cared on the teaching staff how much bullying went on as long as they had an easy life.

  12. This newspaper, pride events and other lgbt organisations are all very good at making a cohesive society and helping to make progress in civil rights, but we must be careful not to look inward, asking what will happen to lgbt children in compulsary sport. i don’t think that is helpful to integrating lgbt into the norm in society

  13. I think the headline of this article is clumsily worded and gives the impression that LGBT people don’t do sport. Many of us do and it would be good to do more.

    Not entirely convinced orientation has anything to do with school sports.

    1. Chris Ward 16 Aug 2012, 4:57pm

      That certainly wasn’t the intention and apologies if so. As I detailed in the article, sport is certainly a good (indeed vital) thing and I did also get involved in a lot of other competitive sports that weren’t typically taught in PE.

      Orientation shouldn’t have anything to do with sport. However, it’s the equating of failure within school sports to orientation which I perceive to be a problem. Essentially I’m talking about two different issues. The first is the availability and variety within sport (alongside the enthusiasm of teachers to pursue that variety rather than concentrate on the few pupils who’ll get the school football team to the top of the local league); and then the issue of homophobic slurs being prolifically used but unchallenged by teachers.

      1. Competive sports are by no means “vital”. It is arguable if they are even a net “good thing” when made cumpolsory. While physical activity is good for most people, there are better ways than sports to meet that goal.

        1. Tim Chapman 16 Aug 2012, 9:11pm

          Someone gave a negative comment to travshad’s comment. Why? How is competitive sport vital? Vital to what?

          1. Tim Chapman 16 Aug 2012, 9:12pm

            Oops, I meant a negative thumb to …..

          2. Spanner1960 16 Aug 2012, 11:14pm

            Team play is important in many walks of life, and sport generates and promotes this more than anything. It stops selfish little brats turning into obnoxious arrogant adults that think the world revolves around them.

          3. duffers8503 20 Aug 2012, 5:06pm

            Spanner, I do think that some of the points you have made on this thread are very true, but you have the most shocking way of putting them across. Lose the aggression man…

  14. I’ve just moved up to six form, and im glad I will never have to do PE again. all that happens in those lessons are the “popular kids” playing around doing whatever they want, making fun of us for being rubbish at sports, and getting annoyed with us when, for some reason, we just couldn’t be bothered any-more. every PE lesson i would always hear homophobic slurs aimed at those who couldn’t play sports, and the teachers just ignoring it, or getting involved with it themselves… and this was just last year!
    As for people saying that we should get a choice of what we should do in those 2 hours of PE per day, trust me, it wont work. our school did the same thing, we either played football, and be licked by the teacher, or be left at the other side of the field with a frisbee doing nothing, while the teacher just ignored us.

    1. “…we either played football, and be licked by the teacher…”
      I’m hoping for your sake there’s a typo in that sentence… I’m pretty sure licking the kids is crossing the line!

      1. oops, that is a typo. i should of checked before posting.

        1. glad to hear it!

      2. Spanner1960 16 Aug 2012, 11:24pm

        Having seen the kids round my way you wouldn’t one to lick one unless you had been blindfolded and heavily inoculated.

    2. Tim Chapman 16 Aug 2012, 9:19pm

      I left school 35 years ago, but my experience was exactly the same as Daniel’s last year. Clearly nothing’s changed. Until it does, the idea that LGBT pupils should face even more of this disgusting treatment through more compulsion is intolerable.

  15. I can’t think of anything worse and I really feel for anyone coming through the school sports system now.

    I hated it for every single one of the 15 years or so I had to do it. Always picked last for being the chubby “different” kid, picked on by pupils and teachers alike, humiliated by teachers in front of the whole class, always last in compulsory races. Ugh. None of it made sport in the slightest bit enjoyable for me and as a result as an adult I’m slightly afraid of group activities where I’ll be laughed at and looked down on as being less fit than the rest of the ‘gang’, even in groups where I’ll be among friends.

    1. I was never competitive, and i think sport made it worse. i have no desire to compete with anyone about anything ever. It completely wrecked my confidence and ive never recovered from it.

  16. The only slightly saving grace to school PE was one incident when I nearly choked my PE teacher (and primary school deputy head) unconscious. He thought we should all love gymnastics as much as he did and had us doing all manner of daft things – one of them was shoulder balances between the thin (bottom) rails of two side-by-side benches. In order to ‘help’ us, the dirty perv had us face away from him and ‘rest’ our calves on his shoulders. I was in excruciating pain from all my weight going through my shoulders onto these narrow bars, all the blood had run to my head, I couldn’t get down because he was holding me up, so I squeezed his neck as hard as I could with my calves – quite a natural reaction, I thought. I remember him going quite purple, trying to prise my legs apart – eventually I think it was the shouting that made me let go.

    He never did that particular exercise again.

  17. I left secondary school about 4 years ago, i have good and bad memories of PE. my school split the year into two groups, while one group did competitive sports like football and rugby, the others did individual sports like track and field. i was always fantastic and running/long jump/ hurdles but when it was my turn to do the group sports i hated it (i got suspended about 4 times in one year for never turning up). some people just don’t like group sports and being forced to work in a team at a sport there not good at.
    I agree that kids should do more sport in schools but the should be given the choice what sports to take part in. then everyone’s happy . . . except the fat kids.

    1. Tim Chapman 16 Aug 2012, 9:32pm

      That’s appalling, Scott. I posted earlier that I refused to turn up for PE and what could they do? Actually, they didn’t do anything – I guess I got away with it because I was a star pupil in all the subjects that mattered (ie everything except PE, RE and metalwork!), but you’ve answered that – they suspended you. So the cretin running your school actually deprived you of vital parts of your education because you refused to play sports? Unbelievable. And Callmedave and twat Johnson what more of this madness?

  18. The main problem for me is the word “compulsory.” I’ve never really understood why it has to be compulsory. There are people who are useless at sports and don’t want to do it, it’s never going to benefit them in later life, it’s a complete waste of time and they are better suited spending those 10 hours a week focussing their skills on a more important subject. Our education system is saturated with degrees that mean nothing and now people with so-called degrees are finding it difficult to get a job, because everyone has one. The entire qualification system has been watered down so that “everyone can achieve” – it is not an achievement to get an NVQ level 3 in the caring of trees, nor is a GCSE in physical education worth a drop of sweat.

    1. …It’s easy enough to get swept up in the glorious success of Team GB, but to dictate to an entire generation of students (LGBT or otherwise) that they will now have to endure, through no choice of their own, the displeasure of P.E. just because one of them might end up getting an Olympic medal in 10-12 years time is ridiculous. The important thing is to focus on homophobia in schools, more than ever, and look particularly closely at subjects where homophobia is more evident (such as P.E.). That way, LGBT students who wish to participate (and I’m sure there are plenty) are not dissuaded through fear, but encouraged as fervently as that popular David Watts character we all had to put up with at one point or another. Those that are still disinterested can hone their skills elsewhere. Win win. No?

      1. Spanner1960 16 Aug 2012, 11:21pm

        It is precisely the reason why we are nurturing a generation of couch potatoes who’s only experience in team games is playing over the internet. Kids used to go out and play, now they are just glued to TVs, computers and games machines, so other ways of getting them to exercise has never been so important.

        Type II diabetes and morbid obesity are becoming more and more commonplace today simply because of this “Why make it compulsory” PC thinking.

        Sure, sport, like anything else, is not easy. I hated it as a kid, I still hate it now, but in hindsight it did get me involved, and it did keep me fit. On top of that I also learned to be a lifesaver swimmer and have got a few people out of serious difficulties in the past, so it seems even I gained something from the experience.

        1. Actually competitive sports are not only easy (especially if you don’t care if you win or lose) but they aren’t the best forms of exercise. If the goal is to get kids to be physically active then compulsory competive sports are among the worse ideas. Forcing a kid to pay a competitive sport that they don’t like and/or aren’t good at will not teach them team work and will not stop the Type II diabetes problem, The amount of exercise the average kid gets in a PE class is minimal. If the class does not teach children the joys of being physically active outside of class and for the future it is of no benefit. Children with a non-competitive nature need to be introduced to physical activities that meet their needs. You can’t force someone to enjoy playing a sport and it is the trying to force that can lead to a lifetime of physical inactivity and the increase of the Type II diabetes epidemic.

  19. I enjoyed sport at school. I hated football but loved rugby. I was always picked last for football but normally was one of the first for rugby. This was helped because I was extremely good at athletics and could run fast and was good at dodging the opposing players.

    Teaching sport in school, as well as teaching kids that homophobia in sport should go hand in hand and I think this could be a good time to get the two working side by side with each other

  20. Christopher 16 Aug 2012, 9:37pm

    Spanner has a bit of an attitude problem, but actually, this time I agree with him. With the right teacher/coach, as most these days are being taught to deal positively with minorities more than any generation of teachers before, this should be a good thing all around. This is an opportunity to teach ALL that homophobia is not welcome, and that all have a contribution to make. As well, since the most physical exertion most kids today do is with their thumbs on a cellphone, health promotion is of great benefit.

    Muscle Marys, prepare for more to join your ranks!

  21. Yes, or we could just forget about PE entirely and use the time for useful things like real, academic subjects. The ones that are actually important. If you want to run around like an idiot or kick a leather sphere about a field then fine, but do it in your own time. School is for learning, not for sports.

    1. Research shows a healthy mind is stimulated by a healthy body. School is also about teaching life skills and team spirit, physical well being and fitness are all part of that mix.

    2. hmm i see your point, but i think it should be there for the people that want it. Not everyone is sporty, but not everyone is academic either. Im more creative, and my school had nothing for me.

  22. I hated PE it was like a witch hunt for lesbians. Our PE teacher was apparently a massive dyke but she was also f-ing our english teacher (a man). The last girl to finish changing was too busy looking at all the other girls so was also a dyke. It was really uncomfortable.

    If they can sort out the homophobia PE would be great for LGBT kids. Although in our school girls could only play netball. No basketball or football because they were boys sports. Netball alone is the biggest reason to hate PE.

    Cross country running was awful too but they stopped it for girls once a known sex offender moved in on the route. Not for the boys though 0_o

  23. Cardinal Capone 17 Aug 2012, 2:33am

    Where are they going to play all these field sports? My old school has sold off its playing fields to developers, and I think that’s probably been happening all over the country because of the cuts.

    They should focus on finding the sports that people enjoy and encourage extra curricular participation and training. Have flexibility in the system so that there is more variety.

  24. I agree with the thrust of the article. From my own experience and that of many Gay friends, PE was torture. Let’s not pretend that many Gay kids aren’t fay -that’s why we get picked on. Kids should certainly take exercise at school but why does it always have to be bloody football? There should be a much wider choice of physical activities. I would have been much happier to join in the team sports if it was also compulsory for all the butch boys to do, let’s say, Jazzercise!

    1. There are a million types of excersise! i would have glady just worked the hell out of gum machines :(

    2. We had to do square dancing during PE. Actually we did very little team sports during PE and they were always co-ed.

  25. Life is not fair and I can honestly see no reason or harm in increased competitive sports.
    To molly coddle children and have them believe life is a fairy tale place where no one does anybody harm, or belittles them, or cheats them, or say spiteful things about them, is not IMHO doing them a good service.
    Competitive sport may help toughen some people up especially these days when it is unlikely many will find decent jobs.

    1. Sorry, but school PE has put me off ever doing competitive sports again.

      It was hardly helpful and only seemed an excuse to let the teachers focus on getting the ones who could actually play the sport to excel at it. It was bitterly unpleasant for some of us.

  26. P.E. in my school was nothing short of torture. It was painful, and as im not naturally sporty, and dont like football, it was humiliating. it got to the point where in my final year a new younger teacher let excused me from lessons completely.

    And why should children have sport forced on them? the sportsmen in the olympics did well because they wanted to do it! o understand the kiddies are all fat, but hours of running and football wont fix that. They need to be thoroughly educated in health and nurtition and be offered sensible excercise.

    And anyone remember cross country? how was running for friggin miles gonna help me with anything?!

  27. The problem is that there are always going to be people who naturally excel at sports and people like me, who loath it with a passion.

    Coming from a school where PE was compulsory and it inevitably ended up being so-called ‘team sports’ like netball and hockey, I was always put into the team with the rest of the non-sporty people so we could be absolutely hammered by the sporty people.

    So it’s not so much that sexual orientation has anything to do with it, at least in my experience, the only slur was stuff like “why did you throw the ball there, that was so gay”, so much as you shouldn’t be forcing team sports on kids who genuinely would rather be doing anything else.

    If the compulsory lessons were something other than team sports, say like tennis or yoga, in my opinion, school PE would be much more popular.

    I can’t comment on the homophobia in sports teams having only gone to a girls’ school and thus have not encountered this mentality that a lot of boys’ sports team have.

  28. The 2 hours of PE per day just won’t work anyway. We have 900 students in our school, and only 5 PE teachers. Thier would be now place for us to change in privacy, as we don’t have enough changing rooms. We hardly have any field space since the government sold most of it to make the m6 toll and if it is tipping it down their will be no room in our sportshall. Atop of all that, we have 5 hours of lessons per day, and the teachers are already struggling to teach us everything we need to know in the time given

  29. My memories of school sports (60s/early 70s) are pretty horrific and what strikes me in retrospect is the totally contradictory attitude about behaviour in sports as opposed to the classroom, especially for boys. Virtually uncontrolled aggression and abuse (homophobic and otherwise) was pretty much tolerated in sport. Politeness, discipline and restraint were of course demanded in class. PE and sports teachers would insist on ‘gentlemanly’ behaviour when formally addressing the boys, and then display vicious and abusive behaviour themselves, including homophobia, when actually involved in sport activity. One teacher was a little too fond of belting little boys on the bum (boys wearing thin shorts and no knickers) with a training shoe. Thus the problem was both pervasive nastiness and completely mixed messages about it. I am also sure now that a major turn-off from team sports for me was the poisonous culture that seemed inseparable from it. The professional sports world seems the same.

  30. …. (though efforts have begun to challenge this), and surely it is inevitable that this reinforces a similar culture in schools and amateur clubs. I don’t believe that vigourous team sports have to entail this mind-set, but it is a hell of a big task to tackle it.
    On a more general note, I think some kids suffer in or are just turned off team sports because they are naturally solitary in their tastes. It doesn’t mean that they are not into healthy physical activity per se. I love cycling, swimming and walking, as do many people, partly because they don’t have to involve ‘competition’ or ‘group discipline’. Getting more children turned on to physical activity thus involves meeting their different needs and interests, though admittedly this is difficult now due to vanishing facilities and resources in schools.

  31. burningworm 21 Aug 2012, 11:40am

    Like most kids who don’t like sport, they’ll sport a note to excuse themselves.

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