Yesterday was the school sports day at the kid's school and therefore the first sports day that I have had the chance to go to and be a parent. It was a time, therefore, for comparisons.
Now, those of you who know me, know that I was born without a sport gene. Football means very little (even though will claim Manchester United as my team of choice) and Rugby even less. Grandstand was a time to go out and play and the theme for Match of the Day actually makes my flesh creep even now.
I now think I have discovered why. It wasn't ever a lack of sport gene, it was that my sport gene was in the hands of the wrong 'Miss'.
At my children's school (a wonderful place) they have sports coaches who come in and lead physical education. Those coaches were present yesterday and were largely responsible for administering a good and orderly sports day where the little ones balanced eggs on spoons, be-doinged in sacks, balanced bean-bags abonce and bolted between batons. My own two darted like mighty atoms and did so with aplomb - and a smile. The thing is, Mrs Acular is as sporty as me, so why weren't my children scowling like I used to when forced to wear shorts in public? I think the answer is in the way they are taught.
My teachers were good teachers and even despite my tender age, they were teachers best described as older. They were the ones, at primary school, who had to be experts in ritting and drawing and counting and evryfing - and also games. I shan't ever forget seeing one old lady (the very dear and now departed Miss Durnford) trying to run to keep up with us sprogs in a game of rounders. I seem to remember that we all got the giggles, her too. Nowadays, around here anyway, 'Miss' doesn't do games. Specialist coaches come in instead.
I often think (and without any disrespect to Miss Durnford or anyone else who taught me) that I wish I were a child now. Playgrounds are different - adventuring places. PE is taught by games-type people. Chalk and back-painted boards are now replaced by smart-boards where the world comes alive for the children who gather round. Kids do gardening and the like - I didn't. I seem to remember that we drew lots and lots. My education was very average in the earlier stages and not one other person who was in my school year in primary school got a degree of any sort. I think I would have done better had I been educated today, not that I did too bad as it was.