Why Physical Education is the most important subject of all

If you want your child to have a head-start and go far in life, involvement in and enjoyment of Physical Education studies should be a priority. Think I’m crazy? Humour me for a minute and read on.

I declare a bias up front. I loved PE in school and studied it up until Year 12, going on to do a degree in Human Movement (sport and exercise science). I’ve always thought the sporty types had an advantage. That confidence they ooze (whether it be extroverted or quiet confidence) developed within the white lines, transfers into work and life.

I recently read about sporty people making better employees and I couldn’t agree more. They are great leaders as well as team players, as they can take on a role and complete it with an understanding of the common goal to be achieved. They are strategic, as they are accustomed to working with tactics and game strategies, which are set in place and then enacted in real time, with quick decision-making made within these parameters. They are flexible, as they are used to the coach switching them from offence to defence, they can handle the heat of the coach’s spray and know they need to keep their emotions in check if ‘benched’.

Sporty people hate losing. This makes them more determined to win. On the flipside, they have experience in taking (and know they should take) losses gracefully. Lastly, they know how to perform under pressure and this translates to being at ease with ‘off the cuff’ situations, and handling deadlines with the deftness of a Roger Federer backhand.

Do you need any further reasons as to why you should encourage within your child a love of PE? Read on, my friend.

Children who participate in ‘proper PE’ lessons become healthier adults. Sounds like I’m not telling you anything new but if you read the latest evidence as to why, you’ll see there’s quite a bit of devil in the detail.

Children who participate in PE are less likely to develop diabetes and high cholesterol in adulthood, because physical activity regulates the metabolism long-term. This means that PE helps your child’s internal system to become an optimally-running machine, with less illness and more economic and civic participation throughout their life. (It’s really important, as the above-mentioned article points out, that your children have access to quality PE).

And if you needed one more thing to convince you about how important it is for you to foster early, a lifelong love of sport & fitness within your child – it enhances your child’s academic achievement. The so-called all-rounder phenomenon is no coincidence.

So for those of you who have been battling subject-selection with your high-schoolers that want to do PE, have a rethink. It could help them go far.

And far more importantly, to the parents of toddlers and children, the time to become a convert to physical activity (particularly sport) is NOW.

I look forward to hearing your comments and questions!

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