Should Team Sports for Girls be Scrapped in Schools?
Girls are doing less exercise than ever before and so it is obvious P.E. lessons need some kind of overhaul to get girls more interested in sport. But is scrapping team sports and substituting them with dance-style classes the answer?
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There is much debate in England at the moment over whether traditional school sports for girls, like netball and hockey, should be replaced with non-competitive fitness classes like Zumba and roller blading.
The thinking behind this is girls need a greater incentive to get involved in sport as currently only a third of girls aged over 14 do enough exercise a week.
A lot of people think back to their P.E. lessons at school and shudder. There tended to be a select group of girls who were good at all the team games and it was left for everyone else to struggle through and bare the embarrassment.
It was never just about the actual games themselves though. It was the whole set up of going into those grotty changing rooms and having to get out your developing body in front of everyone else’s critical eye. And don’t even mention those awful showers afterwards. Those showers, I’m sure, were worse for the girls than the boys. Girls are naturally more self-conscious about their bodies and have more bits and pieces to cover, and it created havoc with the hair do. It swiftly became a hair don’t with all that running around and sweating and no hair-dryers after the showers.
It all spelled a kind of humiliation and exposure which wasn’t good for the image.
I think in many ways it would be sad to see team games for girls go. Not only are they part of tradition, but they do help develop vital skills such as team work and communication. I believe it is good for children to be competitive and the harsh part of me thinks that all those P.E. lesson humiliations can only be character building.
At the same time. If dance classes, Zumba and roller blading are going to get more girls exercising then it can only be a good thing.
It is interesting to consider what kind of sporting activities boys and girls go on to do in adulthood. While a lot of men still enjoy taking part in team games such as football and rugby at the weekend, less women carry on with netball and hockey.
More women like to go to aerobics and dance classes at their local leisure centre. Maybe therefore, team games for girls generally go against what females prefer to do for their exercise, and so why not just start girls off on these kinds of non-competitive classes early on?