Ludicrous attack on country running

1st September 2006 at 01:00
I am writing regarding the advice in a key stage 4 citizenship textbook (from Coordination Group Publications) that cross-country running can constitute child abuse (Overheard in the staffroom, TES, August 11).

For many people, the joy of running freely across an open moor, by a fast-flowing river, or a grassy meadow with a group of friends, is difficult to match.

Cross-country running can be a fulfilling, exciting and energising activity, promoting good health, fitness and self-esteem. Hundreds of thousands of people, young and old, choose to run across country every week. They do so on their own, with colleagues, or at clubs, schools and universities. To suggest that running itself is abuse is ludicrous.

Running is a fundamental movement and, like other fundamentals, it should be taught, enjoyed and developed through education. PE classes should involve running in all its diversity - fast, sustained, as an essential element of nearly all sport, and as a form of creative expression.

In an age where children run less than ever before, running is an increasingly essential element in formal education. It should be presented in a way that is fun, developmental and supportive.

Sometimes learning should challenge the learner to go beyond the comfort zone - to reach into new territory, to achieve higher levels.

I have confidence that while some in the past might have had bad experiences of cross-country running at school, such experiences are now rare.

We must support teachers in developing engaging, fun and progressive ways to teach running and do our best to ensure that running is an activity that is eagerly anticipated and never feared.

Callum Orr

Head of Coaching Training

UK Athletics Limited

Athletics House

Blythe Valley Park

Solihull, West Midlands

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number


The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now