School kids hate XC - or do they?
A recent report on the Guardian website states that school children in China are just as reluctant to get out there and run as the youngsters of the Western world.
To combat growing obesity problems the authorities have taken measures to ensure that cross country running is now part of the weekly curriculum. According to the news machine, “Schools have been ordered to take their pupils for a jog every day until the end of April.” It goes on to state that Ya Wei of the Da He newspaper felt that the measures fell short of what was needed, “I think for a student running 60km in a winter is not too much, but too little.”
The Chinese authorities of the past would perhaps echo Mr. Wei’s expressiveness, however in today’s brave new world even the eastern super-power is becoming a little more liberal it seems with complaints from parents and children abound – sound familiar?
Now, far be it our place to pontificate on here about the health and weight issues that face the world’s youngsters over the next 20 years, but we think its a good idea to get kids out running, or doing any sport for that matter.
Let’s be clear, when kids actually get out there they love it – its probably the thought of doing it that is the biggest hurdle for many. In my childhood I didn’t have the distractions and home entertainment comforts that kids enjoy today, so dragging them away from the Wii or Bebo is all that much harder. I see plenty of hope in the two cross country leagues that I run in (Chiltern and North Wales) and the junior races are always very well attended, with huge fields in the Chiltern series. But this is club athletics, not school sport, and it’s here where the debate will run and run.
Compulsory school cross country – I’ll leave it for others to debate and here at MST we will nail our flag to the freedom of choice mast. However, running when you are young has countless benefits and if you make it funky, kids will dance to your tune…