The importance of PE class in the schools have long been debated and proponents continue to fight an uphill battle during these times of budget tightening. I would like to make a case "for" sports in school regardless of the costs. Here are the two main reasons I feel that it is vital: self-confidence and physical fitness.
Self-confidence is only gained through feeling somewhat successful in a particular sport as well as the confidence in trying new sports. How many books have been written about the defeated teen who is humiliated over an over in gym class but the more athletically superior "jocks". Being picked last, sitting on the bench, kicking the ball in the wrong goal are all aspects that some of us can relate to but are really unnecessary side effects of that social experiment called school. Providing a variety of options is the key. How many adults like being told what exercise class they "have to" take at the local gym? It is simple people, kids are humans too and like to have that thing called choices. Worst School Memory
And options are out there. In a recent Sports Illustrated for Kids I came across an article about two schools in New York that are offering PE classes for kids, girls and boys alike, that is about learning how to ride a skateboard. There are those archaic nincompoops that hold the belief that skateboarding is just for punks but I would challenge that assertion. Just look at any football or baseball player in the news lately. They could probably be classified as worse than punks...
Tony Hawk is now a 40 something father along with all the other skaters of days gone by who still skate! Wow, you could almost put skateboarding up there with golf as a sport that you can enjoy your entire life. Recently I took my boys, cousins, and a friend to the local skate park. It was great. There were young guys there as well as the "old dudes" and they were all having fun. The boys spent about 3 hours there over the course of two days. Here are some photos of their experience.
The second basis for supporting PE classes in school is obviously the physical fitness component. Everyone needs more physical activity in this age of conveniences. Kids are no longer allowed or encouraged to ride the 2 miles to go to the local store and buy their candy bar. They sit in the back seat and consume it. I remember riding to Evergreen Market which was only about 1 mile one way but it would get so windy at times that you literally had to walk your bike. It was a great workout. But in this day and age you can go to jail for child neglect if you put your child in danger by telling them that they could ride to the store - heaven forbid!
Below are a few articles that address how different districts are addressing the issue of budget cuts impacting PE for school kids. It is amazing how homeschooling allows our boys to choose the sports they are interested in and invest their time into what they enjoy.
PE Budget Cuts
150% Rise in PE Injuries
More Budget Compromises