Main sports children wish they could do in PE

Kids want to try more non-traditional sports as SPAR UK launches its School Sports Day Grants 

Pupils across the country have revealed the sports they wish they could do at school, with rock climbing, boxing and archery at the top of the list.  

A poll of 1,000 children aged 10-16 found that while the likes of netball and football are still popular,  as a third are hoping to try more non-traditional sports in their PE lessons including:  

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  1. Rock Climbing
  2. Boxing
  3. Archery    
  4. Karate 
  5. Gymnastics   
  6. Basketball 
  7. Weight lifting      
  8. Yoga 
  9. Rollerblading  
  10. Skateboarding  

The research showed that some schools are already offering exciting new lessons, with 17%  of children taking part in circuit training and 6% enjoying yoga in PE.  

But traditional sports such as hockey and cross country running are falling out of favour with the new generation.  

The study was commissioned by community retailer SPAR UK which is giving away £50,000 as part of its Sports Day Grants and encouraging schools to apply for £200 grants to buy new equipment and improve their sports day. 

GB Hurdler Marli Jessop, who has teamed up with SPAR UK to encourage schools to apply, said: “When I was at school the sports day was huge for me and I think it’s so important for kids in so many different ways. I've always loved sport whether it was gymnastics, trampolining or running and my school sports day helped me realise what I enjoyed the most. It gave me confidence at school and when I wasn’t very good at academic subjects doing PE helped me to be myself.

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How school sports have changed throughout time

The study, which also polled 1,000 parents, found a huge two thirds wish they had as many sporting options as children do today when they were their age. 

Nostalgic sports including badminton, hockey and cross country running come out top when parents were asked ther favourite sports at school -  but only 3% of kids today would say badminton or running was their favourite sport, and only 2% would say the same for hockey. 

The men’s and women’s football world cups and the Olympics are the sporting events which have inspired children to get more involved with sports. 

​​But 32% feel there isn’t enough time dedicated to the subject at school, while 23% have limited access to sports equipment. 

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It also emerged that 90% of parents agreed it’s expensive to buy sports kit and equipment to accommodate children’s varying sports interests and 58% of mums and dads struggle to afford sports activities outside of school for their children.  

As a result, 35% said the only way their children have access to sports is via their PE lessons. 

However 18% of those polled, via OnePoll, feel their child’s school sports equipment and facilities requires improvement.  

More than half of parents (57%) agreed that there should be more variety of sports for children in PE lessons, believing sports can help improve teamwork skills (70%), physical fitness (69%) and confidence (60%). 

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Suzanne Dover, Brand & Marketing Director at SPAR UK added: “Sports have always been an important part of school life and it is essential that we invest in providing schools with the resources they need to make sure that children are active and engaged. The SPAR School Sports Grant means you can win sports equipment for your local school and help create an active and engaging environment for students of all ages.” 

For more information on how to apply for the SPAR School Sports Grants visit: 

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