Are our children running in the slow lane?

Are our children running in the slow lane?

Blog post by Mr Martin, Senior Depute Rector

We may be helping our children to develop a brain the size of Einstein’s, but are we also letting them develop a body like his? Healthy mind, yes, but what about the healthy body? Maybe we should take Sir Roger Bannister (showing my age here) as our role model – an outstanding clinician and scientist and the original 4-minute miler!

From an early age, we teach our children the necessary social skills. We help them achieve academically to the best of their ability. We instil a work ethic, which we hope will be recognised and rewarded as they move through life. We are even starting to tackle childhood obesity, where rates have been falling for the past 10 years.  However, studies have found that childhood fitness has also fallen. Around a third of children today have clinically low aerobic fitness.

Shocking statistics

The BBC programme Inside Out, which aired last night, contained some shocking statistics relating to the fitness of Britain’s youngsters. According to research, the least fit children 20 years ago would be considered to be among the fittest children today.

Speaking to the Glasgow Herald today, Dr Gavin Sandercock, a sport scientist at the University of Essex said: “If we could time travel to hold a one-mile race so today’s parents and their children were both 10 years-old, mums and dads would win it by about 90 seconds.”

At Hutchesons’ Grammar School we recognise and understand the importance of being fit and the freedom and enjoyment that comes from being physically active. We already have a wide-ranging and full sports and PE programme involving all of our pupils.  Now we want to go further and do more.   

We believe that keeping fit is good for the mind, body and soul, there are countless studies showing an association with improved mental health and general well-being,  and this leads to the central aim of our Sport Strategy - ‘Fitness and Health for Life @ Hutchie’.

Fitness for All

We aim to encourage more pupils into sport and ensuring fitness for all and fitness for life. While we do offer traditional team sports like Rugby and Hockey, we acknowledge that these will not appeal to every pupil, so we are working hard to have a fitness programme and facilities to cater for everyone.

Over the next few weeks, we will be watching the construction of our extension to the sports hall at Beaton Road and by August we should have added a top quality specialist weights gym and a fully equipped cardio/fitness suite with mezzanine.

However, the drive for fitness starts now and when better to kick things off than January! Come along and join us at school on Saturday 27th and Sunday 28th January to get involved.

Our ‘Fitness for All’ weekend features a wide range of fitness opportunities from Boogie Bounce and Military Fitness to Yoga and Pilates. All the money raised will go towards new equipment for our fitness suite. There will also be a number of sports clubs in the assembly hall offering details of their evening and weekend sessions.

As a teacher, I am confident the school is working hard to instil the importance of fitness.  As a parent I wonder if we could all be doing more to encourage our children to Get Outdoors, Get Active, Get Inspired, Get Fit - and enjoy the challenge.

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