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To be fed up with the way it's seen as OK to belittle/tease children who aren't very good at sport

(103 Posts)
Blueskiesandbuttercups Fri 10-May-13 16:46:06

2 of my children like me are dire at sport,all sport, however they love to cycle,hike etc so are fairly fit.

Their lack of sporty ability doesn't bother me in the slightest as they're all bright,doing well academically and are fit however the attitude towards this lack of ability does.

Ds9 is enduring continual teasing at his lack of football ability,he even joined a team to improve (his idea as he's no quitter) however other team members love to tease him and the other bench sitters at school which does zilch to sort out.Dd is ribbed when she comes last(pretty frequent according to her)and her teacher commented on how she had failed to catch a ball all term in front of the whole class, telling her off(we've tried to no avail to improve her ball skills at home).

What annoys me is if children were to go round teasing children who struggle academically or teachers highlighted poor achievement in other areas in front of the whole class there would be uproar.

The constant negativity just makes it worse.

So utterly fed up with it dp told DS to point out to his two football bullies their lack of academic achievement.Ds is a kind boy but he says today he did just that,I'm not happy but am now thinking along the lines of what is good for the goose is good for the gander.


ReindeerBollocks Fri 10-May-13 18:05:25

Forgot to mention that DS's school have sports coaches come in to teach their lessons. Which means he gets berated further for his lack of ability. He also always comes last - I've told him to wear this as a badge of pride.

OttilieKnackered Fri 10-May-13 18:09:38

I've always felt strongly (as an acadmeic kid with zero sporting ability) that it was grossly unfair that I was expected to compete and therefore be humiliated in the subject I was worst at. And that what would be termed bullying in any other class was accepted as sportsmanship in PE. It would be the equivalent to making a very poor reader compete in a spelling bee with the really academic kids. Or do competitive sums.

CloudsAndTrees Fri 10-May-13 18:11:14

This is really sad. I don't think it is seen as ok to belittle a lack of sporting ability, this is just the way you have found it at your school and local club.

I have shed a tear before at primary school sports days when children are all there cheering the last child in the races, it is so lovely when they all support each other.

You need to work on finding a sport your dc are good at, there will be one somewhere, it might just be more obscure! My ds was always dire at sports, and still is at school. But he's started fencing and is actually really good at it.

Blueskiesandbuttercups Fri 10-May-13 18:21:54

Balloon my DS is the kindest,gentlest person there is.What gets me is he is very bright and never,ever crows.

There is no excuse for him to be teased,none what so ever.We've mentioned it the coach,school,another parent has mentioned it re their dc and nothing is done about it.

This attitude that PE teasing is ok because the bully(and it is bullying) doing it might not be good at anything else is shit,utterly shit.How is one rule for one and not the other ok,it isn't.

So sorry aside from clobbering said bully not exactly sure what DS is supposed to do except point out the truth.Perhaps the little treasure will pipe down in future.

Aside from anything else dp felt he needed to point out the many things ds is extremely good at in order to stop him feeling shit,it worked and DS came home an awful lot happier.

Catlike Fri 10-May-13 18:23:06


When I was at school, bullying wasn't just condoned in PE lessons, the teachers more or less encouraged it and often led by example.

If my DS turns out to be useless at sports and has to put up with this kind of humiliation too, I'll let him take a sickie on sports days.

Abra1d Fri 10-May-13 18:24:32

thebody we thought they did know that this was her 'thing'--in fact, in one lesson my daughter was asked to demonstrate correct technique.

I have drafted a polite email asking if they could at least give her some feedback on why she wasn't chosen and telling them again what she has accomplished. But my daughter says that I shouldn't send it because I'll be seen as a pushy mother and they will hold it against her. We are mulling it over, but I do feel we need to point out that she is feeling confused and upset.

digerd Fri 10-May-13 18:24:44

I hated all sports, but loved ballet. At 12 I won a scholarship for ballet which meant 2 free classes a week.
I was sent a letter to show my Head teacher that I was not allowed to do any sport, except swimming. I also hated that and got out of it as had to miss my last lesson on a Tuesday to catch the bus to get to the ballet class, and said I would rather catch up on the subject instead of the swimming lesson, which was agreed smile

I was mocked by one girl before then saying" How can you be any good at ballet when you can't even run fast". I told her for ballet you have to graceful, elegant,flexible and poised- not so in

BalloonSlayer Fri 10-May-13 18:31:56

"This attitude that PE teasing is ok because the bully(and it is bullying) doing it might not be good at anything else is shit,utterly shit.How is one rule for one and not the other ok,it isn't."

I totally agree with you. But there is plenty of that sort of thing directed at poor academic performers. When the poor readers have to read aloud and stumble over a simple word, there is sniggering. When a child who is not good at maths gets a simple sum wrong, there is sniggering. A child with an unexpectedly low mark for a piece of work exclaims in shock: "Even xxxx did better than me!!" and everyone smiles. When an academically weak child is asked to work in a group with some others and they all groan.

Of course I sympathise with your DS. My problem is that you seem to think the child making your DS feel bad about sport is some sort of alpha child because of his own sporting prowess whom no one will ever have teased him about his lack of academic prowess. And I am telling you that a) they will have done and b) a lot more often than your DS gets teased. Because sport is usually once or twice a week and reading, writing and maths are every day. And now your DS is doing it as well. Which I think is sad, even though I appreciate the reasons behind it.

Blueskiesandbuttercups Fri 10-May-13 18:39:00

They are grouped 3 ways so I doubt it.

Those poor at sport get no help,are taught in lessons with the very able and have to show their crapness to the whole school and parents every year.

I was a teacher and I don't know any teacher who wouldn't punish/ jump on sniggering re academic achievement.Sadly this doesn't seem to extend to PE and it's wrong.Those suffering the sniggering and teasing for being crap at PE are expected to grow a pair and put up with it.

monsterchild Fri 10-May-13 18:42:52

I if your daughter really struggles to catch a ball have her eyes checked. I could not catch to save my life and it turned out I had an astigmatism. Glasses made a huge difference!
I was terrible at most sports as a kids and come from a very sorry family. Mt teasingcame from my family.

Abra1d Fri 10-May-13 18:43:48

'Those poor at sport get no help,are taught in lessons with the very able and have to show their crapness to the whole school and parents every year.'

Yes. And little help is given them in improving, or in finding things they might actually enjoy and be reasonable at. I was stunned to find that I could get a place in a rowing eight at university (not a very good one, admittedly). I was so proud that someone wanted me in a team, having been told so often how useless I was.

Funnily enough, now I am in my (very) late forties, people often assume that I must have been quite good at sport because I am tall and slim and quite fit.

Blueskiesandbuttercups Fri 10-May-13 18:45:45

I have astigmatism,did get them all checked but no A1 eyesightshock.I was staggered as dp and I are both blind as bats.grin

Will keep checking incase they change though.

It must be genetic as my mother and sister are both dire re ball skills too.

monsterchild Fri 10-May-13 18:47:49

I that should be sporty family. But laughing at me was pretty sorry on their part.

monsterchild Fri 10-May-13 18:50:05

I also became very good at cycling and climbing and more than anyone in my family I go on backpacking trips. But I did hate sports growing up. I'm sorry your kiss are going through this OP.

Midlifecrisisarefun Fri 10-May-13 18:53:17

Not a lot changes..when I was young the only sport I was good at was football..I was derided for it by teachers. 'Girls do NOT play football' was repeatedly drummed in! I wasn't interested in or particularly competent in any other school sport. I was the last to be picked for teams, I hated netball and rounders. I was too slow for athletics, the only 'event' I could do was 'rounders ball throwing! I went to hockey club and was only ever a 'reserve'.
I now play football for a womans' team, I'm the oldest grin there but they don't tease me!! I'm encouraged and effort is celebrated.
My own DC had their own experiences. DS1 is naturally athletic. DS2 was not, the PE teacher at his state school didn't even know who he was, when he left and went to an indie he went from the 4th rugby to 2nd team in a term. He is now 24 and runs and does gym workouts, he still hates 'organised' sport.
DD trained in martial arts out of school, reaching a high standard but was generally overlooked at school. She is now a personal trainer!

Kids are horrible to each other, any weakness will be picked up on whether it is academic/sporting/artistic and exploited.

Kiriwawa Fri 10-May-13 18:53:36

totally agree. once again I'm going to have to take DS off school on sports day. he is so stressed about it and it isn't worth it.

do they have public humiliation reading day? if not, why not?

IrritatingInfinity Fri 10-May-13 18:57:22

When my naturally unsporty son moved country and took up a new sport he was spectacularly bad at it. blush There was a first and second team in the school and my DS trained with the second team. To get an idea of just how sporty the school was, two of the boys in the first team represented the country in the age group.
My DS was never teased, in fact his team mates seemed to really encourage him and they even nominated him for 'man of the match' on occasion. I have to admit that I was surprised teenage boys could be so nice. They played to win but didnt seem to get frustrated if individual players didnt always deliver.
My DS was aware he was a poor player and never pretended he wasn't. He continued to play and practice and became an 'ok' player. he now plays several team sports at University. He loves sports and I think it will always be part of his life.
I sometimes wonder if he would have continued if he had been teased.

specialsubject Fri 10-May-13 19:00:20

my absolute pet hate. I am shocked that it is still ok to be thick as all hell at school, as long as you are good at 'team' sport. ( A massive contradiction in terms)

unfortunately it does seem that the fool of the family still goes into PE teaching, where they give all attention to the good ones and ignore the ones who aren't. Teachers of other subjects who did this would be sacked.

reassure children that the crappy games with balls and the stupid running about are not all there is to exercise and fitness, that you don't have to do it when you leave school and that what goes around comes around - being good at kicking a ball only makes a tiny number of people rich, and few of those are happy too.

BTW I was shit at team sport, but I've done a lot of fun sport things since, and at well below 50 I don't have to work again. Up yours, Miss. :-)

SherbertStraws Fri 10-May-13 19:02:43

I have a deep hatred of sport thanks to all the teasing and being picked last or not at all when I was younger. The way sport and PE is taught is archaic. It seems nothing has changed. Now my dd who initially really enjoyed netball hates it thanks to an over competitive coach and the girls who made her feel bad for being a poor player. And my ds who enjoyed football refuses to go near it again because the boys made him feel so bad for not being a good player. It is heartbreaking

SinisterBuggyMonth Fri 10-May-13 19:27:40

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

IrritatingInfinity Fri 10-May-13 19:46:55

One of the schools my kids went to overseas had a 'sports for fun' after school club for teens. It was popular with boys and girls and was varied and 'fun'. They ran around, played games but didn't actually do technical sports skills.

macreturnofthe Fri 10-May-13 19:48:23

any fool can teach someone with natural ability - it takes a good teacher or coach to teach someone who struggles.

Kiriwawa Fri 10-May-13 19:51:52

I think the thing is, Sinister, that we want to be good at sport. Well, I do anyway. I wish I'd been able to join in at school rather than having been excluded.

I've become a very good skier and I also sail. They're sports that aren't solely reliant on speed and hand/eye/ball coordination but on a lot of other things instead - the ability to make fast decisions, balance, judging angle and speed, assessing conditions etc. I also really enjoy cycling. But the thing for me is that I do none of these competitively.

Sport at school is nearly always competitive. Why?

Oldraver Fri 10-May-13 19:53:42

I was always rubbish and hated sport at school and had quite a few run ins with my PE teacher. I was good at swimming but that wasn't something taken seriously at my school.

When we had Sports Day in reception I heard one of the Mums shouting as her DD was running "Come on x, you can do much better than that". I wanted to lamp her

Shallishanti Fri 10-May-13 19:58:56

See, the problem is that putting kids off sport is a really bad idea for their health and can have a long term impact. School PE should be about encouraging children to find forms of physical activity that they enjoy, and will continue with. For some kids that will be team sports or athletics which is great for them. But for lots of others they are put at risk of a life time of inactivity because school has taught them that they are crap at sport.

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