M548 – Motion on School Sport 2019 Watch

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Saracen's Fez
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What is this thread about?
This is a motion in the Model House of Commons (MHoC). It's a proposed statement that MPs debate, and there's a good chance that the House will later vote on it, but it doesn't have any legal effect. All are welcome and encouraged to ask questions about the motion's content and join in the debate – you don't have to be in a party or be an MP to do so.

What is the MHoC?
It's a political role-playing game where we pretend to be the House of Commons, and it's been going since 2005. We have formed parties, we have elections twice a year, and we debate bills and motions just like the real-life parliament. If you want to know more about how the MHoC works, your first port of call is the user manual. If you'd like to get involved and possibly join a party, you want the welcome thread.


M548 – Motion on School Sport 2019, barnetlad MP
This House notes the report produced by Sport England and published in December 2018, the Active Lives Children and Young People Survey, the first of its kind. This report noted that only 17.5% of children and young people are meeting the Chief Medical Officer's guideline of at least 60 minutes of sport and/or physical activity per day. This House also notes the gender imbalance in that girls are less likely to be active than boys, especially at secondary school level.

This House considers that sport and physical activity are a major part of reducing childhood and adult obesity, with all its inherent health risks and costs to the health service and society at large.

This House therefore asks the Government, in conjunction with Sport England, NHS and the Childrens' Commissioner, to come up with a set of proposals to increase sport and physical activity, targeted to increase those meeting the Chief Medical Officer's recommendation from 17.5% to 35% or more in five years. The House asks that the following things are considered, though this should not preclude other ideas:
- How to ensure a range of sports is provided, especially at secondary level.
- If the type of clothing worn for sport can be a deterrent, and what would minimise this.
- Actions that can be taken to ensure no able bodied child travels to and from school in a car, where this can be walked in under 30 minutes.
- What are the financial barriers to participation for some, and how they can be minimised.
- How to remove barriers that come from issues of self-image, privacy concerns, and those specifically faced by children and young people with gender identity issues.
- How to provide time in the school day to ensure that physical activity is not reduced by being crowded out of the school timetable.
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SoggyCabbages
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Making people walk to school is not only impossible but the school doesn't have any business telling people how to get to school out of school hours.

60 hours of physical activity per day is a tough ask to fit in most timetables also.

And I think that the sex imbalance of females doing less exercise on average is unavoidable, it's just biology with how their bodies work and the knock-on effects of it
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LiberOfLondon
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The Hon. Member for Detention and Not Having the Right Pencil (me) requests that the Hon. proposer of the bill try lasting 1 hr 50 mins with Mr ****** our pe teacher in temperatures of 29F in January when playing rugby and getting shouted at before he proposes any more such bills.
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Andrew97
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(Original post by SoggyCabbages)

60 hours of physical activity per day is a tough ask to fit in most timetables also.
Well, given a day only lasts 24 hours......
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SoggyCabbages
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(Original post by Andrew97)
Well, given a day only lasts 24 hours......

60 hours of exercise in a day is perfectly doable if you know how to manage time
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tengentoppa
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As stated, the idea of telling children they have to walk to school is both an overreach of authority and unenforceable.

Also the parts on removing barriers to do with clothing, self-image etc. are just airy ideas with no substance. Might as well include one saying

- find out why children are fat, and stop this being the case

There have to be at least some concrete ideas.
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Andrew97
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Nay,

Mostly unenforceable gibberish

How can you force somebody to walk to school? Furthermore, to an extent, we have people who make a minimum effort in PE lessons because they don’t like exercising in front of others. More PE won’t solve that. Moreover where does the money come from for increased sports equipment that won’t be used for half a year.
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barnetlad
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(Original post by LiberOfLondon)
The Hon. Member for Detention and Not Having the Right Pencil (me) requests that the Hon. proposer of the bill try lasting 1 hr 50 mins with Mr ****** our pe teacher in temperatures of 29F in January when playing rugby and getting shouted at before he proposes any more such bills.
The Honourable Member makes a valid point about how some team sports are hated by individuals, but others liked. Hence my suggestion about a range of sports. I had the experience of Rugby Union in cold temperatures which I hated, whereas I enjoyed football (or as some call it, soccer).
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barnetlad
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(Original post by tengentoppa)
As stated, the idea of telling children they have to walk to school is both an overreach of authority and unenforceable.

Also the parts on removing barriers to do with clothing, self-image etc. are just airy ideas with no substance. Might as well include one saying

- find out why children are fat, and stop this being the case

There have to be at least some concrete ideas.
On the question of clothing and self-image, participation by young women in sport at school in one instance was increased by replacing gym knickers with tracksuit or legging bottoms. Sport Scotland's view in a factsheet is ' Some sports clothing is also quite revealing, which creates problems for women and girls, linked to the issues about body image and culture mentioned earlier. Strict requirements about clothing can also prevent some BME women from participating. For example, swimming pools which don’t allow women to wear T-shirts over their swimming costumes, and clubs which insist members wear tight-fitting and/or revealing uniforms, can exclude those who follow certain religions – and people who are self-conscious of their bodies.'

There can and have been various Active Travel programmes, such as in Sutton, which have increased the proportion of children walking to school.
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CatusStarbright
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It's an aye for this motion, but I don't see how the problems can be solved. I agree with the sentiment but essentially am pessimistic about its chance of success.
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tengentoppa
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(Original post by barnetlad)
On the question of clothing and self-image, participation by young women in sport at school in one instance was increased by replacing gym knickers with tracksuit or legging bottoms. Sport Scotland's view in a factsheet is ' Some sports clothing is also quite revealing, which creates problems for women and girls, linked to the issues about body image and culture mentioned earlier. Strict requirements about clothing can also prevent some BME women from participating. For example, swimming pools which don’t allow women to wear T-shirts over their swimming costumes, and clubs which insist members wear tight-fitting and/or revealing uniforms, can exclude those who follow certain religions – and people who are self-conscious of their bodies.'

There can and have been various Active Travel programmes, such as in Sutton, which have increased the proportion of children walking to school.
On the first point, is that not then implicitly enforcing a certain dress code? It’s a fair concern, but seems quite a separate one to other aspects of the motion and would warrant its own discussion.

On the second, I’m all for schemes encouraging and incentivising it, but to say

“Actions that can be taken to ensure no able bodied child travels to and from school in a car, where this can be walked in under 30 minutes.”

suggests a blanket ban, which as previously stated, would be an overreach and unenforceable. I’d be more favourable if this were rephrased
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CatusStarbright
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(Original post by tengentoppa)
“Actions that can be taken to ensure no able bodied child travels to and from school in a car, where this can be walked in under 30 minutes.”

suggests a blanket ban, which as previously stated, would be an overreach and unenforceable. I’d be more favourable if this were rephrased
You couldn't possibly impose a ban, how would you enforce it and what sanctions could possibly be given?
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tengentoppa
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(Original post by CatusStarbright)
You couldn't possibly impose a ban, how would you enforce it and what sanctions could possibly be given?
Well exactly. Hence the issue
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Joleee
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what age group is this for?

to echo other's concerns, there are too many issues with the clause about forcing kids to walk to school. to start it assumes no kids live in rural areas, that no kids must walk through unsafe neighbourhoods, that they wouldn't just take the bus to school, that their parents wouldn't drop them off a block away from school, that the state even has a right to tell parents what to do with their kids especially outside of school hours, unless it's criminal behaviour.

the other points in the motion are too vague for me to be for or against.
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04MR17
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I'd like to remind everyone that this is not a motion banning car transportation to schools. This is a motion asking the government to consider that, among a list of other things, in connection with the issue (and a very serious issue) around the physical health of this country's young people.

One thing I would like to contribute here is on the topic of gender. Physical Education in many secondary schools is gender segregated. The young chapsTM will go off to play football, whilst the young ladies will commence the netball. Obviously in schools which are same sex this is unavoidable, however in mixed gender schools I can see no strong reason to avoid mixed physical education lessons - which are apparent in many primary schools. Yes the physiology of men and women are different, and perhaps their physical performances overall will be different but I would argue that in today's climate of more open conditions pertaining to gender and identity, and with today's climate of many obese, unfit children, there will not be any serious negative effects of mixed PE in schools.

Of course we need to do more exercise in schools. But for that a key solution is to make it count more for schools to provide it. Right now the important thing that schools are told to do is provide the best results at GCSE and A Level (though particularly the former) with emphasis on Maths, English and the sciences, and everything else is less important. This simply has to change, and the experiences of young people in this system is worse off as a result.

There is no magic silver bullet that will solve issues which are entrenched within society, especially within a class context, but there is certainly more that can be done which is why I support this motion.
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barnetlad
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Mixed gender sport is an interesting one. I've known it for hockey, and it seems a possibility for swimming or athletics relays (two girls, two boys), and where it is played, octopush.
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04MR17
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(Original post by barnetlad)
Mixed gender sport is an interesting one. I've known it for hockey, and it seems a possibility for swimming or athletics relays (two girls, two boys), and where it is played, octopush.
Mixed gender swimming wouldn't work at elite level. In schools it gets a tad more complicated with being seen exposed, in front of children of the opposite sex. However, I think that reservation is incredibly heterosexual centric and probably only suitable for earlier decades. Plus perhaps it would do young people more good to not be so mystified by the physical composition of the opposite sex (especially when you don't have siblings).
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CatusStarbright
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I can confirm that for competition, mixed-gender swimming would just mean the men win. At school and at non-competitive levels it would be completely fine however.
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Andrew97
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I think the women would beat me at mixed gender sport...
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CatusStarbright
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This motion is in cessation.
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