This week’s Friday Five is ‘5 things I remember about Physical Education classes at school’.
1. The PE kit
I went to an independent girls’ school, so we had a truly hideous PE kit – yellow aertex t-shirts with brown PE knickers – urgh. To make matters worse, we had to store our PE kits in red drawstring bags that weren’t easy to carry, so most people only took them home at the end of term (or possibly half term), so a lot of people had really stinky PE kits – yuk!
2. Picking teams
Apart from when my best friend was selected as Captain, I can’t remember being picked first, but I can’t say that I was scarred by not being selected. There were only 21 people in my class, so after 14 people had been chosen to play netball, the remnants got to play a version of netball on the other court. As the only person who hadn’t played netball before secondary school (there were only 3 other people in my class at primary school), I had no idea of the rules, so it didn’t bother me that I rarely got to play properly.
3. Two laps of the track as a warm up
This felt like such a punishment. I have no idea just how slowly I ‘ran’ at that stage, but I’m sure the warm up took longer than the lesson. (We only had 35 minutes, which included the time it took to walk to and from the main school buildings and changing time).
Miss Lucas, the PE teacher, had a file of ‘standards’, which is the level that she expected us to reach for each track and field discipline. These were modified slightly for each year group, but were based on the ESAA Standards (for county and national championships). I think I failed to meet every standard, which was very demoralising. I did try to remonstrate with Miss Lucas on a couple of occasions as I was ‘up a year’ at school and some of my classmates were 18 months older than me, but she seemed entirely unconcerned. I sometimes looked at the standards for the year below and felt slightly heartened by the fact that I could actually achieve some of them.
5. Carefully selecting a role that meant I didn’t have to interact with a ball
I hate ball sports – I just don’t have the required coordination to catch a ball and am always afraid that I’m going to get hit. I quite enjoyed batting in rounders matches, but when it came to fielding, I tended to be put in deep field where no-one ever hit the ball. Hockey was the sport that terrified me the most. We didn’t wear shinpads, so getting hit by the ball was painful. My chosen role was Right Back as it meant that I didn’t really have to engage with the game and could spend my lessons chatting to Lizzy, who usually played Left Back.
What are your memories of school PE?