View from the staffroom

5th August 2005 at 01:00
Views from visitors to the TES online staffroom at www.tes.co.uk. The balance of comments reflects the views we received.

"Cassander": The assumption that watching sports should encourage participation is not supported by the evidence. Millions watch football every week without ever finding a desire to kick a ball. And the Olympic precedent is not encouraging. Neither the 1984 games in Los Angeles nor the 1996 games in Atlanta did much for sports participation in America. Why should we assume London should be any different? Encouraging children by example is not enough.

"Yayornay": I think the games will be good for raising interest in school sport just before and just after - like when Wimbledon is on and people are really into tennis for a few weeks. But in the long term? Nah. How is a new stadium in London going to help me in the Midlands? You can have all the enthusiasm in the world but if you haven't got the facilities or the equipment, you can't get very far.

"Porcgi": I've been involved with the School Sport Co-ordinators programme for a few years and it has had some impact on schools which have not been doing all they should in PE and sport. The biggest factor (in primary schools) seems to be teacher confidence and willingness to teach PE with commitment. I know of teachers of 25 years' standing who tremble at the thought of teaching PE! More training may be part of the solution. As for the Olympics, what a great opportunity for a whole school topic.

"Oakleaf": My daughter is just about to start a BTEC in sports performance and excellence course at our local college. The news of the Olympics coming to the UK has really fired her up. She now has more access to sport research via news articles and websites which has enthused her learning.

News of the Olympics alone is not the answer to combating childhood obesity. Responsibility lies with parents and teachers to deliver the message.

"Paulvale": I was a "Doubting Thomas" when Manchester won the bid for the 2002 Commonwealth Games. I couldn't have been more wrong! Every sport I saw had the most fantastic of atmospheres - something I shall always remember.

But the real bonus is that Manchester has sown the seeds for successful sport across the North-west. The way the area sports development coaches operate and use the facilities created has helped provide children of all ages with skills in a range of sports. If similar thought and planning goes into the longer-term use of the facilities and expertise created in London, we will have a real surge in attracting our future generations into healthier activities.

"Flame108": The news of the successful London bid was received with a massive whoop of joy in my special school. Perhaps what our pupils need most are sporting role models to show them determination, skills and tenacity. My pupils often feel low about what is happening in the world, and to have an exciting event on the doorstep will do wonders for their self-esteem.

"HMT24": Having hated sports all through my schooldays, I am now a very keen cyclist - thanks to my partner, who is a cyclist. I believe there's a sport out there for everyone, but limitations on equipment and training in schools prevent many children from discovering "their" sport. Looking down the list of Olympic sports, it's no surprise schools tend to stick to the tried and tested options of football, hockey and netball. If only there were options to try out new sports for a few days, and for students to choose to participate in the sports they enjoy at school. Perhaps schools, LEAs and local clubs could work together to offer more options.

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