Young want more sport in school

Teacher's desk in classroom
Teacher's desk in classroom

FAR from being a generation of “couch kids,” a new survey from the British Heart Foundation reveals local children and teenagers are desperate to be more active.

Research from the BHF has revealed that over a third of North West eight to 16-year-olds surveyed would like to take part in more physical education lessons at school.

Some 36 per cent said that they would like to do more physical activity but not the same sports currently on offer in PE lessons at their school.

The survey of 767 children and teenagers, of which 88 were from the North West, was commissioned by the BHF’s Schools Projects team to mark the re-launch of its Jump Rope For Heart and Ultimate Dodgeball initiatives within schools and youth clubs.

With continued concerns about the amount of exercise children are getting as new technologies cut into children’s school and leisure time, the survey looked at young peoples’ attitudes towards physical activity at home and school. When asked what they thought of their PE lessons at school, over half of respondents described the content of lessons as being “fun” and close to a quarter said that they found them “interesting”.

However, worryingly, close to a quarter said that they found their PE lessons “boring” and over one in 10 went as far as to say that they felt that it was the “most pointless lesson” they did at school.

Resources were seen to be an issue, with close to one in 10 of those polled saying that they felt their school didn’t have much sports equipment or facilities. When asked about what sports they currently play at school, the top five activities emerged as football, dodgeball, the traditional playground game of It or Stuck in the Mud, rugby and netball. When asked which physical activities they would like to take part in at school, which aren’t currently on offer, those surveyed expressed an interest in playing American-style sports, with respondents saying they would like to see dodgeball, American football, baseball and volleyball.

Perhaps, in part attributable to Andy Murray’s success at the Olympics and Wimbledon, tennis was ranked highly as a desirable addition, with close to a quarter (24%) of young people saying they would like to take part in this sport.