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Q&A with Gabby Logan on sport for kids - ANSWERS BACK

(61 Posts)
RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 19-May-11 10:24:04

Broadcaster Gabby Logan is joining us this week for a Q&A on children and sports. Gabby is an ambassador for Lloyds TSB's National School Sport Week which is hoping to get as many schools as possible participating and offer parents and children a chance to win tickets to London 2012 and carry the Olympic Flame in the London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay. A former international gymnast, Gabby has worked as a sports broadcasters since 1996. She hosts many programmes for BBC Sport, mainly focusing on football as well as a lunchtime show on BBC Radio 5 Live. Gabby is married to former Scottish international rugby player husband Kenny and has five?year old twins. Gabby has recently been in the news speaking out about the effect of super-injunctions having been on the receiving end of unfounded twitter speculation.

Send your questions to Gabby on how we can encourage children to participate in sport both at home and in school, how to deal with children who excel in sports and those who are reluctant to engage, as well as her life as a broadcaster and mother.

JoanofArgos Thu 19-May-11 10:29:29

Hi - can I ask how you would deal with this? My 10 year old daughter quite enjoys kicking a football around with her dad in the park, and goes to football club at school. She's not as good as her friends, though, and is always reserve/play half the match/B team material. Now she's been put permanently in a team in which she is the oldest by a whole school year, and the only one from her year.

I accept that sport is competitive, and teams have to be the best they can. I accept that she's not a natural at football. But how do I deal with her sadness about this? If I suggest she tries another sport, she sees this as me confirming that she's 'rubbish at football'. Every time I collect from football club, she's upset and humiliated, but she still doesn't want to stop going. She had a phase of wanting to try really hard to practice at home, to prove the teacher wrong: but now she's been told she's permanently in the B team with the younger children, she knows it won't make any difference.

Should I find her another sport against her will, or just keep mopping up the tears?

mollymole Thu 19-May-11 11:04:33

could you perhaps suggest to her that she is there to 'use her experience to help with these younger kids who need a role model'

JoanofArgos Thu 19-May-11 11:16:16

Nice idea Molly - she knows she's not, though! They're not daft, are they.... wink

Cortina Thu 19-May-11 11:29:04

Have you seen the Matthew Syed thread re: book 'Bounce' on the Secondary Education board? She can get better & make the A team
with practice. Is there another club/team she could join instead or in parallel?

Cortina Thu 19-May-11 11:34:45

Tell her to use the teacher's lack of belief as 'rocket fuel' & surely she can't argue with a stellar improvement? Won't be easy but your daughter sounds like she loves it. Tell her Michael Jordan was thought not good enough for the school team at all! He went on to do rather well smile

geordieminx Thu 19-May-11 12:16:27

I'm guessing we aren't allowed to ask her about those rumours wink

iklboo Thu 19-May-11 12:47:44

DS is 6 in November. He has swimming lessons once a week and enjoys it. He also makes a beeline for the trampolines at any fairground we go to. He can do seat drops, knee drops, knee tucks and a full 'spin' in the air (not a somersault, more like a dancing spin). He's never done formal trampolining. There is a trampolining club nearby who take children from age 6. Is it a good sport for little (ish) ones?

toughdecisions Thu 19-May-11 13:08:29

Dear Gaby
In the run up to the Olypmics, please could you engineer a significant improvement in the behaviour of sporting 'celebs', at least while they are participating, eg no spitting, swearing that can be lip read on TV? Then may be they would be fit to be role models to our children who hopefully will be inspired by the Olympics to embrace sport & a healthy lifestyle.
Thank you

toughdecisions Thu 19-May-11 13:09:21

With apologies for mistyping your name blush

NerfHerder Thu 19-May-11 13:11:05

How do we expect children to become interested in sports such as cricket, tennis, rugby and swimming if there are no facilities available for them to train on locally?

I have children of a similar age to you Gabby, and when we began to look at schools, I was astonished to find that the 7 closest primary schools to us have no grassed areas at all, and the yards were very small and crowded. There were no facilities for athletics, rugby, tennis etc. A couple had all-weather pitches which they used for soccer and hockey.

Our nearest pool is 4 miles and 2 bus rides away (probably an hour's journey each way-cross city)- I swam 4 times a week as a pre-teen, but I see no way to give my children a similar opportunity.

lottiejenkins Thu 19-May-11 13:32:55

Hi Gabby. My son has special needs and there are very few sports groups around. Perhaps you could encourage LLoyds to fund some groups??

Cattleprod Thu 19-May-11 14:21:39

How do we encourage girls who show an aptitude for sport to consider it as a career when there is still such a huge disparity between many mens and womens sports with regard to pay, exposure, opportunities, respect etc? There is no other industry or sector I can think of where it is acceptable for females to be paid a tiny fraction of what males in a similar role receive. Gender equality laws don't seem to apply and I'm worried it might put girls off sport as a career if they know they will be regarded as 'second class citizens' in many cases.

Cattleprod Thu 19-May-11 14:50:25

<Wonders if GabbyLoggon is going to post a question...> grin

friendlymonica Thu 19-May-11 16:05:39

I have never understood why all kids are taught pe/gym together regardless of their ability.

Kids who arent sporty etc are made to feel useless and are never going to enjoy an activity where they are always last....why not let them compete against other kids of the same ability so they have the chance to shine/gain confidence etc?

You would NEVER expect a child who was the bottom of the class in.. say maths to stand up in front of the whole class and answer questions meant for those at the top of the class ( how humiliating) This sort of experience of exersize will just put them off for life!

I understand this would be expensive to fund but so is heart disease, obesity, diabetes etc

In the same respect how can those who are really sporty/genuinely talented
really improve etc if teacher always having to stop to help those who are struggling?

The Government are always saying how important health etc is and In my opinion its time they put their money where there mouth is!

holsarch Thu 19-May-11 16:45:48

My 8 Year old daughter is extremely sporty, she is a blue belt in kickboxing, goes to swimming lessons and never stops bouncing on the trampoline i am not complaining i love it! what i don't love is that most clubs start @ 4pm or 4.30pm I work full time so does my hubby how on earth do clubs expect parents to get their kids to these clubs at these times? surely they would encourage more kids to attend if they were held when parents could get them there! grrrrrr rant over

PurveyorOfBaloney Thu 19-May-11 17:13:12

Sadly GabbyLoggon posts under a different name now, have his loyalties strayed?

chatee Thu 19-May-11 21:03:52

Dear Gabby,
I am a parent to two children, one who has a disability(cerebral palsy) and sadly the opportunities available to my child with a disability are very few in comparison to my other child, add into the equation we live in a rural area and this means the options are reduced even further.
We have to travel 1.5hours each way to access a disability sports coach once a month(but it has been well worth it)as many mainstream coaches are still sadly not well enough informed/qualified/experienced in children with disabilities.
Please can you help to promote the work of EFDS(England Federation Disability Sport) as through their work and commitment to sport for children with disabilities my child has developed a love of sport and is committed to her training and has found something that she feels good at(competing at an equal level-especially important for children with disabilities who attend mainstream schools)and is looking forward to going to watch the london olympics where hopefully she will watch some of her regional squad compete and keep her inspiration alive that she can compete in future games.
We attended a EFDS event last weekend (Festival of Sport North) and the numbers of children attending certainly did not represent the proportion of children with disabilities in the area and this sadly is due to lack of information getting to parents, lack of differentation for pe in mainstream schools and awareness by staff, seeing how much my child has enjoyed sport and grown in confidence in the past 18 months myself and a friend are on a mission to ensure that we can share our knowledge to many parents/carers so that more children with disabilities can access various sporting opportunities.
My child with cerebral palsy actually took part in the SchoolOlympics in our county last year(as part of the School Sports Week) and did exceedingly well in her chosen sport and also enjoyed the new opportunities the day offered her and was part of the winning team.
Good luck and thanks for letting me share my views with you

madwomanintheattic Thu 19-May-11 21:26:15

i started a ba(qts) degree in phys ed, with the goal being to get all children to take part in and enjoy exercise, rather than to nurture olympic excellence per se. sadly, i left the course after discovering that the pe teaching ethos was rather different. this echoes friendlymonica's point.

what are your views on school pe, gabby?

i now have three children of my own, who all enjoy different sports, with varying degrees of ability (one of my children has cerebral palsy, and we have spent time and a lot of money making different activities accessible). none, however, have reached secondary school age, where gendered pressures are rife, and the competition really begins.

will the olympics help to put the 'fun' back into exercise and sport for it's own sake? or will they serve to reinforce the 'last one picked for the team' school pe mentality?

i'm not against competition or excellence where appropriate, btw. grin dd1 and ds1 are competitive dancers, ds1 is in an ice hockey team, and dd2 wants to ski in the (winter) paralympics - but in each of their classes/ teams, participation and fun is valued as much as ability.

StickyFloor Thu 19-May-11 21:30:38

1) what can be done about the pathetic state of sport in many schools now? In my twins' primary school they do sport for 30 minutes a week, sometimes an hour if they are lucky. That is it. And when I say sport, i use the term loosely.

There is absolutely NO competetive sport allowed, no way Jose, because it is discouraged in our Borough so that less abled kids are not left out - consequently they spend their time doing circuit training, throwing balls and bean bags and other equally tedious stuff. Sports day is so pitiful that this year we are starting a petition to the Head to introduce some proper races and just let the kids run.

How do we expect the kids to be active and interested in sport if the school offers them half an hour of pom pom waving and standing on one leg each week?

2) one of my twins has cerebral palsy and has only some limited mobility. There is not one single sporting activity, holiday sports club, even private sporting group locally that I can take her too. Nothing available. If I plan months ahead our local Riding for the Disabled will let her do some riding, once a fortnight (due to high demand) and that costs me £20 for 45 minutes. What can be done to make sure that disabled kids have access to sports too?

madwomanintheattic Thu 19-May-11 21:44:49

sticky - get involved with a parent action group near you and lobby the local council (re sn). you'll end up running the activities yourself, and getting volunteers, but they will eventually offer some funding. we were very lucky - our parent action group was very vocal, and we had a swimming club (for adults and children w/ disabilities), and accessible sports session every week at the local gym, rda, and we ran our own dance/ drama/ circus skills/ music classes etc. a lot of mainstream classes would take children with disabilities and there was a pot of money that was first come first served for 1-1 and equipment support.

we have moved o'seas now. dd2 is involved with these guys who are amazing. no disability too great - anything possible.

StarlightMcKenzie Thu 19-May-11 23:09:09

How do we adress the bullying that appears to be suffered by children who were just not born with particularly long legs, in the PE class by children but also some PE teachers? I've done quite a bit of voluntary support for victims of bullying and a common theme tends to centre around PE lessons.

friendlymonica Fri 20-May-11 16:30:57

I agree with joan,madwoman and starlight there just doesnt seem to be any encouragement to take part for fun and enjoyment...esp as they grow up..they then have to start 'being good enough' for the team etc

Forgot to say yesterday but im a sports coach and if ever i brought this issue up with other coaches/teachers they just werent interested-used to drive me mad.

I do see it from the competitive side daughter is in the countys athletic team and plays football etc and I dont think competition should ever be discouraged but it has to be on a level playing field surely?

Just dont see why we cant cater for all our children? I also have a son with Autism/pdas so interested to read about the lack of facilities/clubs for disabilities. Maybe start a club myself!

lljkk Sat 21-May-11 16:34:52

DD is very good at swimming, instructors saying about how good she'd be in the local competitive club. But she is afraid of competition pressure... is there a way to make competition low-pressure, or is that pointless?

I think I can happily say that our school (state) has a good attitude towards sport. DD (yr4) loves it, anyway, and has come home saying emphatically how fun football/basketball/running and even now cricket have been this week.

mousymouse Sun 22-May-11 17:08:45

dear gabby, my ds is 4 and loves running. mainly just running around but sometimes he asks me if he can come running with me and then we run a few times round the block (maybe half a mile).
should I discourage it? he doesn't have proper trainers (yet) and I wonder if it is just too early, even if there is no pressure involved.

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