Casey Stoney says physical education should become a core subject in the national school curriculum, which would help more girls into sport and build “physical literacy”. The Telegraph reports.
The former England international’s comments came as Telegraph Women’s Sport launched its “Girls, Inspired” campaign to close the gender sports gap in schools and keep girls active.
“If you haven’t had a good fundamental in terms of your experience with PE at primary school and you haven’t built the confidence or the physical literacy, when you get to 11 or 12 and you become more self-aware and if you are not good at it, it’s easier to step away,” Stoney said.
“PE should be a core part of the curriculum. There’s not enough emphasis on PE in schools. What is it? One hour of mandatory PE a week now? We have a ‘head down’ culture with kids looking at their phones and not getting off their backsides and doing enough activities, so if you put more emphasis on PE in schools, and football becomes part of that, it becomes part of the culture within the country. I’m not a politician, but it’s a no-brainer. You have a healthier nation, you make them more active, the burden on the NHS comes down etc, etc.”
Despite the advances, significant investment in female sport is needed, said Stoney. “It’s about facilities. It’s about having separate changing rooms, separate toilets and little things like hairdryers, mirrors. These things make a difference to young girls who want to play football.”
“Things like that need to change. It’s about investment, it’s about educating parents as well, educating schools. I went to an all-girls school so I was lucky my deputy head ran the girls football team. If I went to a mainstream mixed school it would have been hockey, netball, athletics and probably rounders. I wouldn’t have touched football.”
“We all have a responsibility. Anybody who has a sister or daughter has the responsibility to give women an equal opportunity in sport and that includes covering it in the same way.”
Read the full article Casey Stoney: Making PE part of the curriculum in schools is a no-brainer
How can more girls be encouraged into doing more sport? Are PE lessons really so terrible for them? Please tell us your thoughts in comments or via Twitter – Tamsin
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