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Educational Development News Blog

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Blair Puts Money to Sports

BBC reports that PM Tony Blair wants to put £ 500 M to providing sports programs for all students.

Currently 62% of students get at least 2 hours of activity a week. Blair wants that percentage to be 75% by 2006, 85% by 2008, and 100% by 2010.

Blair plans to enable this agenda through three main areas: teacher training, building specialist sports schools, and by encouraging partnership activities such as inter-school competition. Blair is also focusing on a diversity of activities--such as yoga and tai chi--a focus that his detractors call an "anti-competitive sporting agenda." These critics want sports to be the domain of competitive sports clubs--where the "real passion for sport exists."

I think this is a fantastic program to implement: physical activity for all. I have always believed that sports education is essential in learning, to have structured physical activity, if not just to get out of the classroom and move around. There's a lot to learn about your own capacity, about teamwork, and about seeing other sides of your classmates.

In response to Blair's opponents, I'm not sure that competition is an answer, or should ever be a goal--that can go on outside of the classroom. Somewhat relatedly, I think that competitive sports are destroying a lot of schools in the US, and the whole cultural goal of sports stardom is a false method to false dreams.