Touhey: Let kids enjoy sports

 

The debate about how much sport
should be taught in Cayman schools is raging at the moment.

Parents generally
feel there is not enough but the schools feel what they offer is adequate and
children should pursue sporting interests outside of school hours and the
emphasis is on parents to ensure their kids get enough exercise. 

Physical education teacher Brendan
Touhey is head of sixth form at Cayman Prep and High School and is also a
father of two.

He said: “Sport being taught in school is absolutely essential
but must be done well – and within a physical education framework where the
focus is on skills, social cohesion and development – and not on
competition. 

“Sport in school should be varied,
fun, and for every single child.  It
should receive the same attention as reading, writing and mathematics in the
development of a successful child.”

Touhey does not feel that Cayman
does not invest enough in school sport. “I don’t mean financially. Not enough
time is invested in school sport and organising school sports. The single
biggest challenge is getting inter-scholastic competition. 

“But it is easily remedied by
having linear sporting seasons for school to have sports. It is very easy to
organise and implement successfully so the greatest possible number of students
can participate. 

“Right now too many things occur at
one time, with little coordination between sports, which dilutes the pool of
athletes and ultimately diminishes the quality of competition, opportunity and
success of all.

“Most examples are anecdotal, but I
think it is fair to say that sports allow young people to experience success
and failure in equal measure. It builds teamwork, goal setting and leadership.

“Most importantly it allows people
a chance to relieve stress and lead an active and positively healthy
lifestyle.  However, it is important to
realise that if sports is poorly coached and taught it can also have adverse
effects on young people. 

“In my opinion there is too much
competition and too many parents out there placing too much emphasis on
winning.”

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