Fit to govern;Diary

29th October 1999 at 01:00
WELCOME ABOARD Kate Hoey, our new sports minister who seems to be following in the admirably barmy footsteps of Tony Banks et al.

In a proposal that could only come from an ex-PE teacher, that breed which loves to humiliate fat kids on wet afternoons, Kate suggests children should take compulsory fitness tests with their SATS.

You can imagine the league tables now. The lower down your school, the more likely your kids are to get pounced on in the park by the thugs at the top. Still, these are competitive times. Survival of the fittest and all that.

Sadly, Kate's colleagues over in education may take convincing. Schools minister Jacqui Smith, an ex economics teacher and not quite as, er, wiry at the sports minister, was none too enthusiastic when quizzed by a Diary colleague at the Youth Sports Trust conference where Kate had earlier floated the

idea.

Worse, a quick call to the Department of Culture, Media and Sport drew this terse response from the press office: "The fitness test idea was not in the minister's speech. It was off the cuff."

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