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Call For More Sport In European Schools

  • January 2nd, 2008
  • Posted by EUEditor

sport-kids-ep-08.jpgAn Hungarian Member of the European Parliament Pál Schmitt has been gathering support for his campaign to get three weekly sessions of PE into schools programs — as a response to indications of increasing obesity among children.

Mr Schmitt made the proposal in a report casting a black eye on children’s reduced activity, and an online straw poll conducted by the Parliament in November produced unanimous agreement from parents and others.

The results include comments from all corners of the European Union; like these few samples:

Angelika, an Italian mother of three in South Tyrol agreed “sport is very important for the overall development”; in Spain, Irene regretted that although “some years ago we played in the street, now children are losing some values such as competition spirit and team play, and thus present individualistic attitudes”; Jan in the Netherlands said “in primary schools it was agreed that there would be PE 5 times per week, but so far 2 times is the reality”; and for Lefteris in Greece the issue was a moral one: “what right do we limit our children to 2 hours of PE per week?”, he asked.

There were comments about boredom, that the way PE is taught could be part of the problem, where Eva, in Greece, reported “the intervention of the PE teacher is limited to 10-15 min of warming up, without further guidance”, and José Mário, in Portugal said “resistance … is enormous; they do not allow a change of behaviour, procedures and organisation methods in schools.”

The European Commission is at work on an Action Plan for stimulating sports activity at all levels. Already in elite competition the 27 EU countries would stand to dominate the Olympic Games medals tally if they presented as a single mega-team, (see, 16.7.07).

Pál Schmitt MEP, 65, is a Christian Democrat and former Olympic fencer.


Full details, see European Parliament, “Reader survey backs more sport in Europe’s schools”, 18.12.07, 20071214STO15564.… (2.1.08)