Future Voices: Are sports offered in PE too gender stereotyped?

Future Voices: What are your thoughts about PE? Photo: Mike Egerton/PA Wire

Future Voices: What are your thoughts about PE? Photo: Mike Egerton/PA Wire - Credit: PA

Why is PE such a 'Marmite subject' for school children? Why, for some, is it the highlight of the week, yet others dread the cold windy playing field, or the long wait to be picked?

It got me wondering whether there is a wide enough range of sports on offer in schools, and is it time for a break from tradition?

Here at Future Voices we've been on social media to get the views of teenagers across the county.

Ben, 13, from Norwich, enjoys the variety of sports on offer at his school and said: 'It's been great to get the chance to do weight training and badminton in Year 9. However, I feel strongly that full contact rugby shouldn't be compulsory at my school because we have to tackle, which I dislike.'

Outside school hours, girls are increasingly getting the opportunity to try football, cricket and even rugby. So we asked people if they thought the sports on offer in their schools were too gender specific.

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Kieren, 16, from Great Yarmouth, said: 'I think PE is great in schools for social, physical and mental wellbeing, but at times it is too gender stereotypical.'

Thomas from West Norfolk agreed: 'PE tends to follow gender stereotypes too often and this doesn't suit everyone.'

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Finn, 11, from Norwich is just one of many boys who enjoys a good game of football on the school field. 'I play most days after school with my friends. It's a good way to keep fit.'

Throughout your school years, your views on PE may change, as demonstrated by Emily from Dereham, who told us: 'In Years 7, 8 and 9 you get told what sports you're going to do and this really puts some people off. But in Years 10 and 11 you get to choose which sports you can play and this is much better.'

As we can clearly see from these young people's views, opinions on sport vary – irrespective of age and gender. But what does seem to be clear is that choosing the sports you pursue has a significant impact on your enjoyment.

Emily Oxbury, 13, Thorpe St Andrew School.

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