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Patanjali Sokaris

Pondering the universe

Opinion

Some opinions which might interest you.

Compulsory school sport is not healthy [] ^

The Australian Federal Sports Minister, Bridget McKenzie, wants sport to be compulsory. Sport is not healthy per se, as it promotes false competition, and tends to focus on an elite few.

When I was in school in Victoria, I don't remember it being optional to be arbitrarilly placed in a sports 'house', signified solely by a colour, and to which we were to be enthusiastically loyal.

While we had no school soccer team, several of us would play it without real concern for teams per se, and so it was just fun, but without all the hype. Nonetheless, attempts were made to get good performers among us -- not me -- to play Australian Rules football instead. Our players typically subotaged these attempts by 'forgetting' their boots and other such lapses.

The essential problem with school sport is that it basically promotes focus on sports elites, rather than upon the health of all. As competitions progressed, more were sidelined to being spectators. Of course, anyone with 'limitations' were ignored, as they were never going to be good enough to represent the school at inter-school meets.

The whole school sports setup is geared to making good little sports consumers who just follow what they are directed to support without thinking about whether it even makes sense to do so. Promotion of these school activities by sports organisations, is disingenuous, as these organisations have a huge pecunary interest in having masses of paying, but non-playing, followers, to which they hawk merchandise and suck in by misleading claims of how essential the 'fans' are to morale, as if the money was not important.

Government promotes sports extraviganzas because they bring in revenue, and promoting schools sports just keeps this cash cow flowing, using a mass of disenfranchised children as fodder.

Instead, healthy living and activity should be promoted and facilitated, regardless of physical abilities, so that all can grow to be heatlthy adults with frames of mind that do not seek to marginalise those who don't meet some arbitrary measure of acceptance that is mostly irrelevant to their life and careers.


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