Angel was full of chat after school on Friday. It was PE day, and even though she was on crutches for a torn tendon in her foot, she still managed to take part in a Dodgeball Game. Not altogether sensible, but certainly admirable!
She is definitely sports mad! And am I happy about this? Absolutely :D
I can hardly believe that she will be 18 this year, but I well remember thinking that she was the most wonderful child in the whole world when she was little, and being terrified that she would turn into a monster at about 14 - as I think I probably did.
Apart from insisting on good manners and talking about stuff, the only thing I could think of to stop the monster phase was trying to develop a passion for sport. Well it certainly worked. For a few years she was one of those children who had a very full afterschool timetable. But I was lucky, even though I had Smiley and all her problems to deal with, and then CD, Angel's school was across the road, and most of her activities were based there or nearby. I hope that I never put pressure on her, though I did insist that she complete any course that had been paid for!
All went swimmingly - literally as well - until secondary school. Almost imperceptibly, she began to drop activities - as did most of her friends. Unless she enrolled in a club, there was no outlet for regular recreational swimming, so that went. She lost interest in Jujitsu and the Community Games. When her gymnastics coach left, Angel quickly followed, thought within months she was regretting it and finally managed to rejoin the club 6 months ago. She went to Hip Hop dancing for a couple of years, but stopped when her BF had a foot operation, and they never went back.
This is a girl who has a drawerful of medals, she taught herself to do the splits age 6, was school gymnast of the year, and plays on school basketball teams, yet she has never been given an 'A' for PE on any school report. It is bad enough that the sports clubs all seem to assume that teenage girls will stop playing sports so they don't cater for them, but for schools to ignore sporting achievements is really disappointing. If you treat teenage girls as though they have no interest in sport - it will become a self-fulfilling prophecy. With gymnastics on a Saturday, Angel usually stays in on a Friday night, unlike other teens who are sometimes exhausted by Sunday. She is fit and healthy and seems to be reasonably sensible - everything I could have hoped for. So why isn't this being recognised? Why are the girls who do sport not being celebrated?
I'd love to see much more sport in schools - after all, there's a sport to suit everyone. Even CD, who is a typical football-hating aspie, has found his niche with tennis, basketball and Taekwondo. I think it would pay huge dividends : both boys and girls would be fitter, there would be less obesity and fewer problems with drink and drugs. But in the meantime, please would all schools at least encourage those children who are interested in sport. Is the occasional 'A' in PE too much to ask?