No doubt politicians will wish to join the bandwagon of Olympian euphoria and as a result the number of compulsory hours school children devote to sport will become a hot potato. What is less likely to receive attention is whether or not all the many hours of TV coverage of sport this summer will lead to a marked and lasting reduction in the number of non-sporty children who by fair means or foul – kit being eaten by the washing machine, a parental note claiming some illness at present incurable or just collapsing with a violent cramp on the field – avoid the trauma, to them, of organised school sport. Personally I believe this will not be measured because nothing will change. Youngsters who enjoy sport will benefit but the aim of involving more of the population in more healthy exercise will not be fulfilled. In fact forcing more young people to take part in activities which they manifestly hate and which is only a source of mortification and embarrassment to them may well have an adverse effect leading to a lifelong aversion to exercise.
Better perhaps to accept that many children actually hate school sport and go with Indian dance or any dance which they can enjoy. And what about old fashioned nature rambles, or more modern orienteering, geo-caching,or plain walking, cycling, skateboarding etc. There are literally hundreds of activities which can lead to a healthier lifestyle and which do not involve teams of participants kicking or hitting balls or opposition shins and ankles nor rolling in the mud of a rain sodden field.