BY MURRAY WHITE
IT WAS ST PAut. himself who said that we should run the good race until the end. But the modern-day pressures that teachers face could quash Government plans to revitalise sport in schools.
Although Catholic schools this week welcomed in principle efforts to restore English schools sport to its former glories, several questioned the opportunities for teachers to give more time when they are already overburdened with academic responsibilities.
Sports minister lain Sproat last week published plans which, if they became law, would require all secondary schools to teach at least five team games and every teacher supervise at least two sports. The report came in response to growing health fears following a national decline in school games activities.
Peter Anwyl, Director of Development at Stonyhurst, the Jesuit-run independent Catholic school in Lancashire, said that sports should be encouraged because they gave pupils a "richer and fuller life", although he questioned the timing of the initiative given the time yteachers have to devote to the National Curriculum.
"Finding time for sport has never been a problem for independent schools. Especially in boarding schools, we have longer hours and living as a community builds in a more innate sense of competitiveness," he said.
Stonyhurst, currently Lancashire Badminton champions, have seen spectacular success on the sports field in recent years. Alumni include Kyran Bracken recently capped for England and presenter of the first Daily Mail Festival of Schools Rugby, screened on TV this week.
State school headteachers were even less enthusiatic. Mark Philpot, Secretary of the Catholic Teachers' Federation, said it was "ludicrous" to expect all teachers to coach teams.
"The suggestion is wholly unbalanced. Team spurt is desirable, but there is also a place for other cultural and social activities," he said.
• A MANCHESTER CATHOLIC primary has become the first to have its girls' football team sponsored (see photo).
The pupils of St Gilbert's School, Eccles, now proudly display the logo of the Transport and General Workers' Union on their shirts. The Union's general secretary Bill Morris presented the shirts during a visit.