There’s a reason kids don’t want to continue to do Physical Education in later years. It isn’t because they hate exercise, it’s because they are made to feel like shit about themselves and their abilities by students and teachers alike.
If you weren’t one of the sporty kids in high school, you will know what I’m talking about. If you were one of the sporty kids, well, you probably had absolutely no idea those less gifted in the coordination department felt this way. The sporty kids were always popular, fit, and the PE teachers just loved them, so much so that they were more than willing to turn a blind eye to any bullying coming from them during classes.
A fact which probably stems from the fact that the teachers themselves tended to bully the less athletic students unfortunate enough to end up in their class. I had myriad excuses to dodge PE when I was in high school: Fake injuries, illnesses, headaches, periods, “forgot my PE uniform” (I won’t mention the teacher who handed 15-year-old me a tampon when I’d never used one and forced me to go swimming). I know that every other person who was like me is nodding along.
I hated PE, and all of its associates – swimming carnival, athletics carnival, and cross country. All I feel when I remember back to PE classes is humiliation, shame, dread, and anxiety. Why are schools so obsessed with sport anyway? There was nowhere near the emphasis placed on academia, and if the aforementioned sports carnivals had an intellectual equivalent (debate team for example), they were optional – only for the kids who truly wanted to be there. However, you miss sports day, or swimming? That’s an unauthorised absence on your record, Miss.