The unbridled energy and carefree spirit of young children is so infectious! I see this display of innocence in full bloom everyday I visit schools. There is not a playground at our primary schools that doesn't have crews of children indulging in skipping fun! Cardio vascular activity without any effort! For many of our learners this is the only physical exercise they indulged in at school, outside of any formal extra-mural program that may exist. Our ongoing curriculum change of the last 13 years has eroded physical education to something in addition to learning environments. CAPS returns it to its rightful place for our children.
Now, tempted as I am to go and skip whenever I see it happening, I have to remind myself that my physical condition (or lack thereof) has become a barrier to fun. I'm bound to snap a hamstring instead of enhancing its elasticity. And I don't think I'm alone in this boat. I suspect many of our teachers are in similar shape as me. As a consequence, physical education could become a serious health issue for adults at schools who have to lead this activity.
And many of our children are as inactive as the adults. For as many children that are running around during intervals, a similar number are sitting still, clustered in feeding frenzies as they empty their lunch boxes of the eats and treats they had packed in by mom, dad or granny. And when they finished, they sit there with satisfied looks, almost admiring their handywork that emptied a lunchbox of its contents in under 10 minutes. You can almost see the slow process of protein and carbohydrate churning through their growing bodies converting itself to fat due to a lack of exercise.
So the average playground has this opposing activity on display daily...gay abandon and contented sit-arounds. The challenge to all my school-based colleagues is a simple one...get our kids active during intervals...encourage them to run, skip and hop, play ball games, etc. They are too young to sit around loaded with "gas".