Leader: ‘Some schools show what can be achieved’

THERE will be a lot of talk this year as the Olympics draw closer about encouraging young people to take up sport.

Our report today about the lack of time devoted to PE in the city’s schools shows once again just how far we are from giving our children the sporting start in life that we would all wish.

Providing youngsters with a minimum of two hours of sport a week in school was an election promise of the SNP Government as long ago as as 2007.

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Yet here we are today with almost two-thirds of city high schools and more than a third of primaries failing to hit that unambitious target.

No-one is pretending that this is easy when some schools have to operate in such cramped conditions that classes have to be taught in corridors.

But the example set by some schools – where games has become a vital part of the curriculum with little more than a scrap of grass to run around – shows what can be achieved.

The most worrying part of the problem is that so many primary schools are struggling to provide a regular chance for their pupils to get active.

Everyone knows the value of youngsters getting into good habits at an early age. The scale of the so-called “obesity crisis” among young Scots is often overblown, but giving children the basic skills to enjoy physical activity later in life can only improve their health.

We are told that the London Olympics will be the only chance for most of us to see one of the world’s great sporting events in the UK because it will be at least half a century before they return. Let us hope that when the Games are held in Britain another generation is not still waiting for this debacle to be sorted.

Good sports

it’s not often that you can predict who will be the victor of the Edinburgh derby with any great certainty.

But even before kick-off today it was clear that both Hibs and Hearts were winners – in one way at least.

Both sides are backing a campaign against domestic violence – a campaign which has been partly inspired by the knowledge that some men are stupid enough to use a bad result at football as an excuse to take out their frustrations on their wives.

That’s why both sets of players took to the pitch today wearing white ribbons, and why the mascots carried giant versions to signal their contempt for such men.

This may be too subtle for some, but it sends out a message that the rest won’t put up with their violence.