sports day: Girls not allowed to run 400m

(112 Posts)
GotMyGoat Tue 16-Jul-13 21:37:34

Do you want to hear something jaw-droppingly outrageous?

School have sent out a message saying that due to health and safety concerns the sports day 400 m will become the 300 m race. Something about it being a sprint, a bit vague but ok. Fine. If you think it helps. Maybe it's connected to the hot weather?

Then, the email says that due to it being a sprint, and therefore posing a risk girls will not be allowed to run the 400m (now 300m) but boys will still be allowed.

What an awful example to set.

If girls run the 300m, do their heads fall off or something? Does anyone have any ideas why sprinting is more dangerous for girls?

I am so angry hat they think they can assume all boys are stronger/ better sprinters than all girls. I was awesome at the 400m at school and would have easily beaten most of the boys.

I'd like to send an email in reply, its going to be too late for this year but perhaps they can change their sexist attitude for next year? Any pointer of how I can sensitively call my employers sexist pigs? Many thanks!

poachedeggs Tue 16-Jul-13 21:39:05

shock this is a joke, right?

TeiTetua Tue 16-Jul-13 21:40:14

"A risk"?

Ah, well you see the 100 meters is bad enough, but at 300 meters it gets 3 times worse, and it's just unacceptable...

Boys are tough. They can take it.

GotMyGoat Tue 16-Jul-13 21:42:35

No joke. Sadly, they only gave two days notice of this change before sports day, so a lot of girls will have been training for the events and will be disappointed.

curlew Tue 16-Jul-13 21:42:51

It's all to do with their wombs, you see.

Kiriwawa Tue 16-Jul-13 21:42:52

Why is it too late for this year? Unless sports day is tomorrow, I think there's plenty of time to reinstate the girls 300/400m race.

Tell them there's no physiological evidence that girls dehydrate more quickly than boys do

iklboo Tue 16-Jul-13 21:42:55

Maybe they're afraid they'll all spontaneously menstruate at 250m?

Utter bolleaux!!

BrianButterfield Tue 16-Jul-13 21:43:23

Our school just changed 400m to 300m for boys and girls - something about the English Schools Athletics Association changing to 300m as standard.

poachedeggs Tue 16-Jul-13 21:45:15

That is completely outrageous. I'm horrified. How on earth can they justify this?

GotMyGoat Tue 16-Jul-13 21:45:35

I might start by having a word with some of the female PE teachers about it. I'm imagining they would be the sort of people to be equally outrage about it. I'm starting to think school life might not be for me, I can't handle the politics.

forevergreek Tue 16-Jul-13 21:45:52

Hmm, I must be ruined after years of running 1500m

OddSockMonster Tue 16-Jul-13 21:46:36

Eh? Didn't they see the Olympics? What on earth is their reasoning?

Maybe the girls can rebel and carry on past the finish line of the 100m, say and extra 200m.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Tue 16-Jul-13 21:46:43

Girls were never allowed to do 400m when I was at school either, I never really got why!

kim147 Tue 16-Jul-13 21:46:51

I remember at a school I taught at that the fastest Y6 child was a girl. She also was the best Tag rugby player as well.

LittleBearPad Tue 16-Jul-13 21:47:18

shock just shock.

That's just crap of them.

GotMyGoat Tue 16-Jul-13 21:47:21

It is tomorrow, students loading onto coaches in the morning, so unless I chain myself to the wheels or something...

GotMyGoat Tue 16-Jul-13 21:49:29

Brian - that makes sense about the 300m bit then. I'm only a little bit hmm about that.

iklbo grin

OddSockMonster Tue 16-Jul-13 21:50:11

Have you still just got time to make a banner and mount a small protest wherever they're holding it?

GotMyGoat Tue 16-Jul-13 21:50:23

Maybe the girls can rebel and carry on past the finish line of the 100m, say and extra 200m.


GotMyGoat Tue 16-Jul-13 21:52:47

I could maybe make some flyers? I'm a bit worried about causing a scene and... you know... losing my job for causing a riot or something.

SecondRow Tue 16-Jul-13 21:53:05

That's utterly baffling. Do you know who made the decision?

You should indeed email them - understandable that you don't want to antagonize your employer, but please don't be too sensitive in your phrasing!

How about "I am very concerned about the message "we" may appear to be giving out here - it would be very unfortunate if parents should feel that we are completely dismissing failing to respect the efforts and talents that 50%(?) of our pupils are looking forward to exercising on sports day. I am sure you agree that fostering willingness to participate, challenge themselves and compete on an level playing field is as inherent to the values we try to instil in girls just as much as their male peers."

Still a bit too bloody sensitive actually!

zzzzz Tue 16-Jul-13 21:54:58

How ridiculous. Please say so loudly.

SecondRow Tue 16-Jul-13 21:55:03

Ah, thread's moved on quickly! Meant to say I would really hope the girls themselves would be most vocal in objecting and hopefully overturning this. What age group are they?

OddSockMonster Tue 16-Jul-13 21:56:45

I can help phrase an e-mail...

"Why on earth don't you think girls can run as good as boys? And how have you explained this to all the pupils?"

GotMyGoat Tue 16-Jul-13 21:58:00

That sounds lovely secondrow - thank you. Yes I want to barge into the principals office (calling out votes for women! and waving a mumsnet flag) and demand that all girls be given to opportunity to thoroughly knacker themselves excel on the race track, but they are more likely to take it to heart if I use your language.

MrsOakenshield Tue 16-Jul-13 21:58:11

I would actually name and shame the school in question, to be honest. That is absolutely outrageous and an appalling message to send to girls. I wouldn't just contact the school, either, I would be in touch with the LEA and your MP as well.

MrsOakenshield Tue 16-Jul-13 21:59:22

'run as well as boys', not 'as good'. Not being a pedant, just helping the OP get her email right!

GotMyGoat Tue 16-Jul-13 21:59:56

Secondary students, SecondRow. Many of them much taller than me...

GotMyGoat Tue 16-Jul-13 22:02:17

Thanks MrsOakenshield, I won't be contacting the MP as I need to keep my job for a while!

A sad face picture of me next to the race track in the local paper could perhaps be deemed as bringing the school into disrepute - which I think I'm contracted not to do!

MrsOakenshield Tue 16-Jul-13 22:05:56

think the school's bringing itself into disrepute!

SecondRow Tue 16-Jul-13 22:06:04

Well secondary students should love getting up a good froth of indignation about unequal treatment, right? Fan the flames, to mix a few metaphors smile

OddSockMonster Tue 16-Jul-13 22:06:10

Fair enough MrsOakenshield, beer affects my grammer.

scallopsrgreat Tue 16-Jul-13 22:07:13

I'd be asking them what kind of message do they think they are sending out to their girl students with this decision. Perhaps compare it paying women 25% less for being women or only enabling women to buy 75% of the goods/food men do. Or only giving them 75% of holidays or teaching time.

Oh and remind them of Ann Packer and Paula Radcliffe who runs marathons quicker than the majority of men in the world

This is really sinister that this is still happening in this day and age.

MrsOakenshield Tue 16-Jul-13 22:07:52

<whispers> grammar. Not grammer.

poachedeggs Tue 16-Jul-13 22:09:02

Use the word 'discrimination', because that's what it is, and because that word gets people backtracking like no other.

SecondRow Tue 16-Jul-13 22:09:26

And please update, Goat. I'm intrigued as to whether this really is just blatantly based on someone pulling some "weaker fairer sex" guff out of their arse. In this day and age?! but what else could it be...

Women have better endurance than men when it comes to running. This decision is based on blatant sexism and not remotely in reality. I'd be getting very shouty if it happened at our school.

Abra1d Tue 16-Jul-13 22:11:45

Run faster not quicker.

OddSockMonster Tue 16-Jul-13 22:13:42

I got affects right though, didn't I?

(It's been a hot day, beer took quick affect)

MrsOakenshield Tue 16-Jul-13 22:16:33

oh yes. Well. I think so. Actually, I'm not sure. Damn, that's my moral grammatical high ground out the window.

OddSockMonster Tue 16-Jul-13 22:17:03

Grammar aside, I'd also ask what message this sends the boys as well as the girls. Should they really have teachers telling them they're better than girls? That it's ok to discriminate and treat women as less capable?

MmeLindor Tue 16-Jul-13 22:17:09

'I am concerned that preventing girls from participating in the 300m race gives the impression that we consider them in some way less able than their male counterparts. The wonderful example of the London Olympics has inspired our girls to train hard this past year, and it would be demoralising for them to be excluded from this event.

Added to that, the school leaves itself vulnerable to a charge of sexism, and sex discrimination, which could lead to rather negative publicity'.

Are you sure you haven't time travelled from 1950s?

OddSockMonster Tue 16-Jul-13 22:19:57

It's one of the few grammar things I remember.

The beer affected my grammar, (verb)
The effect of the beer was poor grammar (noun or something).

GotMyGoat Tue 16-Jul-13 22:20:48

Ok, I promise to update. Thank you all for sharing my outrage, I can't promise I'm going to get a good response but I will certainly send something to someone tomorrow morning.

I am off to bed, where I can live out my Olympic dreams free from discrimination...

OddSockMonster Tue 16-Jul-13 22:21:44

Do your school have an Equality Policy? I have a feeling it's a compulsory one, and should be on the website. I should think this would quite probably contravene it.

scallopsrgreat Tue 16-Jul-13 22:22:11

I'd also ask what message this sends the boys as well as the girls. Really good point. It certainly sends out the message that boys are more worthy of a complete event. That only they are strong and fit enough to compete over the full distance. That is only going to give them a sense of entitlement.

OldBeanbagz Tue 16-Jul-13 22:22:58

Girls at my DCs school are allowed to run 600m from Y3. We must breed them tough here in Yorkshire!

Seriously i'd challenge the school on this one. Am i right in thinking that at the Olympics, men & women run over the same distances?

scallopsrgreat Tue 16-Jul-13 22:26:55

Yes they do. Women finally have parity with men over all track events apart from 110m hurdles where the women run 100m. Go figure confused There is still a discrepancy with heptathlon/decathlon though <sigh>

allmycats Tue 16-Jul-13 22:32:08

What age are the girls, UK athletics and English Schools athletics have always had a minimum age at which girls run 400metre which is correctly defined as a sprint race. In fact both UKA (now known as British Athletics) and English Schools athletics now have U15 boys Sprinting over 300 metres and not moving up to the 400 until they are
Under 17 age group.
So, the school may well be correct depending on the age of the girls.
Running further than 400 is NOT classified as sprinting which is why younger age groups can compete.
You need to know the rules of UKA and English Schools before claiming that this is wrong
This does not have to apply to 'open athletics meetings'
I am a UKA qualified coach and a UKA official so do know what I am talking about here

ravenAK Tue 16-Jul-13 22:32:11

Ours did Sports Day today. Races up to 1500m for all. How ridiculous - YADNBU.

(not that I spent my afternoon running the Sin Bin in a sweaty Portakabin or anything...)

MmeLindor Tue 16-Jul-13 22:34:51

Are there different rules for boy and girl races?

WoTmania Tue 16-Jul-13 22:41:50

That's ridiculous!
allmycats - if it's the case that they can't compete because of ESAA rules then surely the school should have said that? This sounds as if it's a blanket rule across all year groups so not appropriate for all.

kim147 Tue 16-Jul-13 22:46:34

Surely it's only a 400m race. It's the first to get to the end. Sprint or fast jog.

But who the hell would sprint 400m? I'm sure the girls would find their own way of running 400m.

scallopsrgreat Tue 16-Jul-13 22:51:05

Well indeed Kim.

I am shocked if there are different rules for boys and girls within the sports governing body.

However the wording doesn't suggest that was even a consideration by the school. They were intending to 'allow' the girls to run 400m and only the weather is stopping them.

Wonderstuff Tue 16-Jul-13 22:52:20

I was outraged recently about a thing at school. House names that were exclusively white European were proposed, I wrote to the head, outlining concerns 'someone responsible for genocide and slave trading will perhaps prove to be controversial?' She thanked me for raising it and has decided to go with place names instead. Your head may thank you for raising concerns before parents do.

kim147 Tue 16-Jul-13 22:54:26

Maybe all that sprinting is bad for the breasts? 400m sprinting could cause damage.

But with modern sports bras and all that?

scallopsrgreat Tue 16-Jul-13 23:02:13

Well according to the ESAA website there is discrimination between boys and girls:

The Association Junior Championships for boys 13 years and under 15 years will be decided on the total points gained in the following 15 (fifteen) events: 100 metres; 200 metres; 300 metres...

The Association Intermediate Championships for boys 15 years and under 17 years will be decided on the total points gained in the following 18 (eighteen) events: 100 metres; 200 metres; 400 metres...

The Association Senior Championships for boys 17 years and under 19 years will be decided on the total points gained in the following 18 (eighteen) events: 100 metres; 200 metres; 400 metres...

The Association Junior Championships for girls 13 years and under 15 years will be decided on the total points gained in the following 11 (eleven) events: 100 metres; 200 metres

The Association Intermediate Championships for girls 15 and under 17 years will be decided on the total points gained in the following 17 (seventeen) events: 100 metres; 200 metres; 300 metres...

The Association Senior Championships for girls 17 years and under 19 years will be decided on the total points gained in the following 18 (eighteen) events: 100 metres; 200 metres; 400 metres...

Pretty shit really.

scallopsrgreat Tue 16-Jul-13 23:04:35

But as the school doesn't appear to be following those rules anyway I don't think they are relevant in this case.

NoComet Tue 16-Jul-13 23:05:42

YANBU, but then DDs BF would win the 400m and do an extra lap before the slowest boy had finished.

Snazzyenjoyingsummer Tue 16-Jul-13 23:13:12

I would play it differently, and say that if it's dangerous for the girls to run 400m then it must surely also be dangerous for the boys, and that if anything went wrong and a boy became ill as a result, the school would surely be in big trouble for failing to protect them from the risk in the way they have done with the girls. That might worry them enough to pull the boys' race also back to 300m. Sounds like this is a long game and I would aim at cancelling out the planned inequality in this race to start with, then working on rooting out this attitude about girls being fainting delicate flowers.

I think the only possible response is "What the actual fuck do you think you are doing in education if this is the message you give to children"

Preferably stapled to their chest.

sashh Wed 17-Jul-13 01:26:33

I am concerned that we may be at risk of legal action for sex discrimination.

ChippingInHopHopHop Wed 17-Jul-13 01:44:00

I'm with the skiing gardener!!

Have you found them this lacking in other areas?

How long have you been at this school?

Is your Head always this much of a twunt?

At least you have thought about what to do... I'd have fired back an email quicker than you could have said 'Oh do fuck off' and probably been looking at the sits vac over my morning coffee

zipzap Wed 17-Jul-13 05:56:53

I would ask what the h&s concerns are that apply to girls but not boys and ask on what authority are they making these decisions. I'd also be asking for actual evidence of the risk and why it applies to girls but not boys.

I'd be tempted to get in touch with the head and say that it appears someone has hacked into their system And sent out a very dodgy email that she needs to deal with ASAP - say you wonder if it's some non-sporty girls looking to get out of running.

If youare worried about your job are there some senior girls and boys you get on well with or know the parents of and could prime them with these questions and the number of the local paper and get them to start complaining and saying they'll run anyway?

Do you think they are just looking for a way of shortening sports day?

zipzap Wed 17-Jul-13 06:15:28

I would also ask them at exactly which point between 200 and 300m does it become an h&s issue for the girls and what the comparable figure is for the boys to experience that same issue? Say 264m for girls vs 305m for boys (obviously I have just pulled example figures out of the air!)

Because if they can't give the exact point and reasons as to why it becomes dangerous for girls not boys and know what the danger point is for boys, then how do they know that 300m actually is dangerous? There mist be a point at which they decide the danger threshold has been reached - if they can't explain it or provide the evidence then frankly it doesn't sound like they can guarantee the safety of any of their sprint races and should call all of them off. or run all of them, girls and boys.

I would also then use the figures to say well if xxx is dangerous let's run a race for a metre less so at least the girls get their turn and it can highlight the ridiculousness of the situation. They can't argue that a metre less than the distance would also be dangerous as you already know what that threshold is allegedly and are proposing something below that.

If they refuse it will show they aren't bothered about the race for girls and see it as a way of cutting down on sports day, so I'd tell them they need to cut an event from the boys too in order to make it fair.

good luck!

ccridersuz Wed 17-Jul-13 06:38:25

When I was at school I ran the 400m, 800m, 1000m and 1500m.
wasn't keen on the cross country but did it.
I had to write a letter of protest to my sons school because they were sick of football and rounders and wanted to play rugby, which considering we are in Wales was not played.
Rugby was introduced in their final year.
The kids today seem to have a limited choice when it come to sports and I was so annoyed when I had to pay £1 a week so they could use the leisure centre as part of the PE lesson, especially when they were junior members anyway.
So many sports are totally missing from their PE lessons, tennis being just one of a long list.
So much for the Olympic Legacy!!

allmycats Wed 17-Jul-13 11:41:54

Perhaps the OP can actually tell us what age groups she is talking about.
There are also rules relating to the number of events done in a particular period of time pertaining to separate age groups and the amount of 'recovery' time between heats, semis and finals
Weights of throwing implements are all different male/female and age related.
Sprint distances among the younger age groups are different as are hurdle heights for boys and girls as is distance for younger girls who should be going over 600 metres not 800 and 1000m not 1500 depending on gender and age
The main problem here with athletics on school sports days is that the schools are not aware of many of the rules and this does leave them wide open to litigation if their is an incident.
I have lost track (excuse the pun) of the number of school sports days where I have been officiating at the sometimes down right dangerous
actions the schools have proposed. i.e. all hurdles at same height and spacing irrespective of what age/sex were in the race, you see hurdle spacing changes with distance changes not jut the height of the hurdles.
Everyone throwing the same weight discus, shot, javelin. lack of insight into where throwing events should take place and how they should be marked out for safety reasons
Just because we did all these things in the past does not make them right.

Earnshaw Wed 17-Jul-13 14:50:37

With allmycats on this one. Girls and boys develop at different rates; adult men and women run over the same distances, but all juniors work up through shorter distances - the boys are usually one age group up from the girls in tems of race distance (and hurdle height).

Similarly with throwing, though men and women do end up throwing implements of different weights. Is that wrong? My DD can whang a 4k shot a fair way, but did herself quite a lot of damage with a 5k (the equivalent boys' shot) weight which a PE teacher thought she should be training with (club coach not happy).

Girls of DD's age can do a heptathlon (the full women's event); boys do an octathlon and progress up to the decathlon in the next age group.

It's nothing to do with girls not being able to manage a 400m run (or younger boys, under-15 boys also run 300 now), it's about working up to the full long sprint, a notoriously tough event.

The OP's school may be making it up as they go along, or they may be applying ESAA rules, so they may or may not be right, but it's not necessarily dumb sexism.

flanbase Wed 17-Jul-13 14:53:57

How stupid to say girls can't run 400m. Hope that all the girls don't go to the sports event in protest

GotMyGoat Wed 17-Jul-13 17:50:40

Hiya, bit of an update from today - I had a chat with a pe teacher and they explained that the reason for reducing the 300m and the worry for girls particularly is because of reduced lung capacity, and that it makes a lot of people sick

I argued that we couldn't possibly assume that all boys had more lung capacity than all girls, and she agreed that it was an old fashioned, lazy way of incorporating new guidance.

Age group is girls aged 11-16. All girls were excluded. All boys (who qualified) allowed to take part.

grimbletart Wed 17-Jul-13 18:54:00

All girls were excluded.

So they continue to discriminate on the basis that boys who qualified were allowed to take part. Girls were not even allowed to qualify.

Shit logic, shit reasoning.

CaptChaos Wed 17-Jul-13 19:01:26

Has lung capacity in girls dramatically changed for the worse in the last 25 years?

I only ask because we did 400m for sport's days. Well, I didn't because I am a sloth, but the point stands! Were girls allowed to do shot put? We all know that girls aren't as strong as boys, and it might hurt their nails!

What an utter crock!

scallopsrgreat Wed 17-Jul-13 19:19:44

Lung capacity?? Give me a break! A woman's lung capacity is, on average, going to be less than a mans all through their lives. One of the many reasons women are slower at certain sports. Are they going to stop all asthmatic boys as well? Because they would be more likely to have significant reduction in lung capacity possibly more than any of the girls?

Yes boys and girls develop at different rates (girls normally faster than boys so why are they limited to running 400m until they are 17 by the EAAS) but within the groups of girls and boys there are also vast differences, possibly more than between the sexes.

scallopsrgreat Wed 17-Jul-13 19:21:38

What I meant by the fact that women had less lung capacity than men throughout their lives is it doesn't actually stop them doing anything. Even if they are asthmatic.

GrimmaTheNome Wed 17-Jul-13 19:29:06

>Girls and boys develop at different rates;
yes... between the ages of 11-16 girls tend to develop faster than boys, don't they? At some point in that age range boys are on average going to be bigger than girls, but at about 13 that's not so much the case.

And from what the OP says the girls who are entering the >200m event will already have been training at 400m.

However ... I just asked DD what races they do at her school (all girls): 100, 200, 300, 800 and 1500m. When she asked why I wanted to know, I told her about this whereat she laughed like a drain and said 'that's how it should be... make the boys suffer'. Make of that what you will!

GrimmaTheNome Wed 17-Jul-13 19:30:40

Is a woman's lung capacity significantly lower in proportion to her size (which is surely what matters)? it might be, I don't know, but the absolute size is pretty irrelevant.

Takver Wed 17-Jul-13 21:49:59

So how come women run marathons? Surely if very ordinary women can run serious long distances (which they patently do all the time) fit young girls can run 400m?

I can see it would make sense to have a qualifier for everyone, and also warn anyone who feels unwell to drop out.

I was discussing this gender split with friends re. primary sports day where dd's school has 'girls races' and 'boys races' in each category, which just seems daft given that in some years that means 2 girls or 2 boys racing each other in every event. (It also means parents sitting through twice as many races grin ) DD is about to leave, but I think others are planning to take it up.

Its even more mad given that loads of the older children from the school do surf lifesaving where there is no gender split for anything regardless of age group, it is all mixed up to and including the adult competitions. And even though a lot of them take it pretty seriously I don't think at any age there is any noticeable gender imbalance in who wins the races either beach or sea (ie women/girls and men/boys are equally likely to come first).

teetering13 Wed 17-Jul-13 22:53:28

I don't believe this.

I don't think any school would ban girls from running a 300m race .. it wouldn't have even happened in my day years & years ago when girls were taught to sew and boys did woodwork and never the two could cross!

If this is true what school is it?

rosy71 Wed 17-Jul-13 23:17:23

I did a lot of athletics when I was younger and it was always the case that girls, and boys, under certain ages couldn't run the 400m. It is a very difficult event because it's a sprint. It's totally different from longer distances such as 800m, 1500m etc. They're middle distance and require different skills/strength/technique. There are also lots of rules about which events children are allowed to do in combination on the same day.

Having said that I'm really not sure why boys can do it at a younger age confused but it is nothing new.

rosy71 Wed 17-Jul-13 23:24:12

Just done a quick bit of googling and it's currently being proposed to stop boys under 15 running 400m too. Apparantly, sprinting longer sprints hinders the evelopment of speed so teenagers should focus on the shorter sprints to build up sprinting speed.

GrimmaTheNome Wed 17-Jul-13 23:49:08

Yes - its not the girls doing 300 that's the problem, its that the boys are still doing 400.

TalkativeJim Wed 17-Jul-13 23:57:02

OP, I would seriously take this to the press and LEA

zippey Thu 18-Jul-13 00:15:39

Its ridiculous and I would be up in arms, I really would, if my DC was not allowed to race without a valid reason, but as a teacher in said school it wont be easy for you.

Sport has always denigrated women - women were not allowed to compete in track and field until 1928, I think concerns about the jiggling about and issues of damaged fertility.

As an aside, women should also play 5 sets in tennis, or receive a lesser amount of prize money. There is equal prize money in Wimbledon for women.

Doinmummy Thu 18-Jul-13 00:23:10

I went to all girls school and this was the rule there. That was 35 years ago

kickassangel Thu 18-Jul-13 00:49:11

I went to an all girls school and we did 400 yards.
And cross country.

This is complete sexist bollocks with no factual evidence just that girls are precious little flowers shit.

I would be wanting to show them all the research which shows just what a lie it is that girls can't do sport as equals and threatening them with sex discrimination.

But that is really hard if you work there. If I were a parent I would do this, maybe not as an employee.

NoComet Thu 18-Jul-13 01:45:14

DD2 says she's been asked to run the 300m, she says this is just the distance her age group do,

Thinking back, I'm not sure we did 400 at school, just 1,2, 8 and 1500 (the only event I ever did and it wasn't even on sports day).

How many of you have actually run 400m as a young teen? I was a middle distance runner & I was drafted in to do the 400m, I was fit & young & NEARLY FUCKING DIED. It'sa hard race for any young person. I would pity the boys who had to do it, rather than insist the girls have to.

I gave great 800m & 1500m, but 400m? No thanks.

It's a .4k sprint , people.

It's not an easy thing to do.

teetering13 Thu 18-Jul-13 08:23:58

It doesn't matter how long the sprint is .. it's the fact boys can do it and girls can't ..

If it's too difficult for girls then it's too difficult for boys yet they aren't banned confused

Anyway, I still don't believe it ... no school would risk that amount of bad attention being thrown at it if it got out ... and funnily enough it's not got out, the OP is outraged but won't say what school it is hmm

Picturepuncture Thu 18-Jul-13 09:15:32

This was the rule when I was at school as well. It isn't new!

<on the fence as to the justness of it tbh>

LRDYaDumayuIThink Thu 18-Jul-13 09:18:37

I used to do 400m. I'm really unfit and was back then, too.

You start at the start, you run for a bit, and you get to the end.

You probably do not try to sprint the whole thing, what with it being sports day and not the olympics.

Posting to say it's a hard race is utterly pointless if they're still letting the boys do it!

(Sorry, I know this thread has gone in the same circle at least twice already, but ...).

I'm shocked, TBH.

teetering, this is an anonymous forum.

teetering13 Thu 18-Jul-13 09:40:13

anonymously post the name of the school then smile


LRDYaDumayuIThink Thu 18-Jul-13 10:03:13

Erm ... 'anonymous' means 'without a name', ie., unidentifiable.

Funnily enough, I suspect naming the school would give a teeny tiny clue.

Don't be so irresponsible.

GrimmaTheNome Thu 18-Jul-13 10:07:22

WTF would anyone invent this? confused It sounds 100% plausible to me.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Thu 18-Jul-13 10:21:59

It is totally plausible - girls never did the 400 at my school, and, on enquiry, neither do they at my girls' school now. It baffles and annoys them just as much as it does OP!

TheOriginalSteamingNit Thu 18-Jul-13 10:22:18

(and no, I won't be naming either my or their school to 'prove' it!)

notso Thu 18-Jul-13 10:34:31

DD did the 400m, she was the only girl in her year who entered so she had to run with the boys, she beat them all too grin

RatherBeOnThePiste Thu 18-Jul-13 10:44:05


I am staggered, and baffled

My poor DD had to run 400m this year! Why did no one tell me there was such a risk!!


piprabbit Thu 18-Jul-13 10:47:12

Fair enough to change the race for everyone from 400m to 300m, but to ban girls from participating at all is dire.

momb Thu 18-Jul-13 10:51:13

The ages are staggered in line with advice on the adolescent growth spurt, particularly the effects of hormone levels on joint stability and development.
It is not just athletics that take this into account. The Imperial college of Teachers of Dance doesn't allow girls on point during this time either for the same reasons. Like wise the BGA has to put special steps in place for their gymnasts too.

teetering13 Thu 18-Jul-13 11:17:34

I meant the person who named the school could remain anonymous ... was that not obvious?

I'm not really bothered if the schools named or not .. I've just googled to find any school that doesn't allow girls to run the 400/300m race but can't find one

I will accept it goes on though .. as of course wtf would anyone start a thread saying it does if it doesn't ... I just find it very hard to believe :/

LittleBearPad Thu 18-Jul-13 11:25:58

If the person who started this thread is a teacher at the school as seems to be the case then naming the school wouldn't be a very good career move. It would t take much effort for the headmaster to work out the likely whistleblower.

teetering13 Thu 18-Jul-13 11:41:55

Lets hope at least one parent whose child is at that school will question it then ...

LRDYaDumayuIThink Thu 18-Jul-13 12:10:34

Not obvious so much as naive, teetering, but don't worry, I can understand why you thought it might be possible.

teetering13 Thu 18-Jul-13 12:15:43

It would be possible to name and shame anonymously

samandi Thu 18-Jul-13 12:45:23

How utterly ridiculous.

The 400m is not a sprint race, it combines both anaerobic and aerobic fuel reserves.

I fail utterly to see why girls aren't allowed to participate in it, or indeed why it has been changed to 300m for boys. It's - as you say - quite jaw-dropping. Utterly offensive and retarded.

samandi Thu 18-Jul-13 12:48:50

How many of you have actually run 400m as a young teen?

Yes, I have, several times. During the 1995 heatwave too. You're not supposed to go all out, you have to pace yourself. Of course you will wind up on the floor if you treat it the same way as a 100m sprint.

forevergreek Thu 18-Jul-13 13:18:37

Huh, we see to start every sports lesson with a 400 m jog, then finish the lesson with a 400m sprint.

So x3 times a week for about 6 years

OddSockMonster Thu 18-Jul-13 14:34:06

I'm pretty sure I did 400m runs (not sprints) as a teen. Hated it, but maybe that's why I remember.

OP, this sports day may have passed but are you in a position suggest something different for next year?

rosy71 Thu 18-Jul-13 18:11:21

The 400m is not a sprint race
Yes it is. It's entirely possible not to run it as such but it is a classified as a sprint.

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