School Sports

Harriet Walker in The Independent said what I had felt for a long time about school sports:

http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/harriet-walker-lets-end-the-tyranny-of-sports-jocks-2140334.html

Prompting this:

Sirs,

Thank you Harriet Walker for telling it like it is about school sports. What an utter waste of time and money that subject is, I hated every minute of it.

“It’s character-building” they cry. No it isn’t. It’s a means whereby those blessed with an over-abundance of competitiveness and physique can compensate for their embarrassment in classroom topics. As though chasing a bag of wind around a lump of grass getting shouted at by C2DE types in some way defines a national psyche.

“It builds self-respect” they claim, as if following the example of those team-players with self-respect by the metric tonne – the bankers – was some kind of ideal aspiration. They would have benefitted from less sport and more home economics in my view.

School sports builds self-loathing and fosters depression more than any other subject and any moves to clip its wings has my support. In both senses of the word.

Paul Harper

Which got published as: