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Letter: Our kids need PE, PE needs our kids

Do you remember your physical education (PE) experience? As a pre-service teacher, who is just about finished a graduate program in PE, I often find myself disheartened and frustrated about the perception of PE in general among my peers, colleagues and community. “Take a lap! Drop — give me 20! Lose the asthma…” I am here to tell you that this is not the old school PE that you may or may not remember.

In fact, PE these days throughout our wonderful province is fitness-based, success-oriented and meaningful. It supplements student learning in ways that will surprise you. Research studies show significant relationships between movement and academic achievement. Students are learning to become critical movers, socially responsible, team participants, health conscious and even curious. Through participation, students’ brains are being better stimulated, more alert and prepared to retain more information. PE is no a longer coffee break for primary/elementary teachers, or a militaristic playground for high school students, but rather an effective partner.

Research studies show significant relationships between movement and academic achievement.

We have heard it before — our kids will not outlive their parents. Inactivity has become one of the most leading causes of death in North America. Health experts recommend that all students receive 60 minutes a day of physical activity. So why is our answer to sit students down all day to learn? As mentioned, daily PE supplements classroom learning, meets the national health recommended guidelines, and promotes lifelong wellness. The time is now for PE to become a core value in our school system.

We are extremely lucky in our province. We have a great group of physical educators with unique and diverse backgrounds who have been nationally recognized, many who are willing to go that extra mile for their students. Help support them by asking about your child’s PE class after school. Advocate for PE to become a core subject, and stop being inactive! Act to improve their lives, act to improve your life, and act to understand that PE needs every student, every day.

Brady Brian Turner, vice-president
St. John’s Association of Basketball Officials
Witless Bay

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