Column: Sport at school was never like the fun of the Olympics

With the Rio Olympics still fresh in the mind  memories of childhood PE lessons rear like some unwanted pimple.

Friday, 26th August 2016, 5:01 pm
Updated Friday, 26th August 2016, 6:04 pm
Carol Forster's memories of school sports day are not so fond.

Who could forget the black pumps of the ‘60s or the Airtex shirt?

Believe me, I’m trying to!

Back then, games wasn’t half as much fun as today. With a voice which rivalled a Sergeant Major, our teacher would bark orders at us to jump over this or hop over that, but without the pleasure of a musical accompaniment it all fell a bit flat.

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Rounders was OK, provided you dodged the bat or ball as they were always very heavy. Perhaps the annual sports day with its egg and spoon was fun and saw many a child giggle their way to the finish.

But hockey was an exercise in self -restraint, when it was oh so tempting to give cruel Cynthia a thwack on the ankles and, as for high jump... Ye Gods and little fishes!

It felt like being lamb to the slaughter as we lined up to do an ungainly leap over the thing in our knackered navy knickers. And of course, as aforementioned, the horrors of the cross country run, which rendered many a girl absent for the day. As for tennis, they even managed to take the fun out of that, with the droning voice of some teacher pronging our serves.

Even worse, the dreaded ‘horse’.In the early ‘70s I recall our PE teacher driving her car as she ‘ran’ us to the field, all the while smoking through the window. It was always freezing.

In those days, sport wasn’t as fashionable as now and more to be endured than enjoyed, unless you were Sporty Jane of course.

We couldn’t understand SJ because she had to give up precious free time after school to do yet more of the stuff. Che orrore!

The school choir was bad enough but the thought of yet more goosepimples and a few more thwacks of the hockey stick hardly rendered it appealing.

The modern child is lucky to have more variety. Dance and zumba were a distant dream back then, with the small rubber ring to be retrieved - much like a pet dog - about as good as it got.

Moreover, less education about the benefits made it less motivating, but this had the effect of home time being ever more precious, once you’d escaped the boring recorder lesson, that is ...