Celebrity bid to boost sport appeal

6th January 2006 at 00:00
Pupils under 11 could study the celebrity lifestyle of Posh and Becks in a bid to make sport more appealing.

A new cross-curricular initiative encourages all teachers to plan their lessons around questions of sport - and the big personalities associated with it. One of the suggested English lessons is to write up an interview on a top sporting celebrity, such as David Beckham, from newspaper cuttings.

Other ideas include asking children to experience the highs and lows of winning and losing a major sporting championship through emotion-filled poetry.

Classes could even be asked to write an obituary on George Best, who died recently and was widely regarded as the UK's best-ever footballer.

In maths, pupils could be asked to calculate the striking distance of a Wayne Rooney goal or Gavin Henson's famous rugby kick that helped Wales on its way to grand slam glory in 2005.

Dragon Sport - an arm of the Sports Council for Wales - devised the sports-led curriculum. Organisers hope to gain the interest of young people who currently do not take part in sport through stealth.

They believe the initiative will help teachers create more stimulating lessons and motivate children who usually have no interest in sport to participate. A starter lesson plan for teachers is available on the dragon sport website.

Sarah Narramore, active young people's senior officer at Dragon Sport, said: "This is all about getting young people to realise sport is not just centred around the hockey or football pitch. So many jobs come from the sidelines, such as a sports reporter or cameraman. Hopefully it will also encourage youngsters to be active."

Last year more than 73,000 primary school children took part in National Lottery-funded Dragon Sport initiatives in Wales. Parent volunteers help develop after-school and community sports clubs with an emphasis on participation rather than success.

The Assembly government also plans to tackle rising levels of obesity, poor diet and lack of exercise by Welsh schoolchildren with a series of fat-busting initiatives.


Tips for sportier lessons

English - write a match report. Set up role plays to act out fair play and discourage bad losers.

Maths - master angles by examining champion throws and kicks. Learn symmetry by matching up team shirts on a football pitch.

Science - investigate the effects of performance-enhancing drugs on the body. Measure heart rate before and after activity.

Music - create a school anthem. Make up a football chant. Investigate whether a tennis raquet makes a good musical instrument.

History - look back at England's famous victory in the 1966 football World Cup. Examine how sports kits have changed over the centuries.

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