​Tha e na mhasladh san là a th’ann g’eil àireamhan spòrs a’ crìonadh - Murray MacLeòid

Tha figearan a thàinig a-mach on Riaghaltas bho chionn ghoirid a’ sealltainn gun chaill clann-sgoile a-mach air mu 4,000 uair a thìde de dh’eacarsaich agus bu chòir dhan sin a bhith na chùis nàire.
Tha figearan a thàinig a-mach on Riaghaltas a’ sealltainn gun chaill clann-sgoile a-mach air mu 4,000 uair a thìde de dh’eacarsaich. (Dealbh: Euan Cherry/Getty Images)Tha figearan a thàinig a-mach on Riaghaltas a’ sealltainn gun chaill clann-sgoile a-mach air mu 4,000 uair a thìde de dh’eacarsaich. (Dealbh: Euan Cherry/Getty Images)
Tha figearan a thàinig a-mach on Riaghaltas a’ sealltainn gun chaill clann-sgoile a-mach air mu 4,000 uair a thìde de dh’eacarsaich. (Dealbh: Euan Cherry/Getty Images)

Tha figearan a thàinig a-mach on Riaghaltas bho chionn ghoirid a’ sealltainn gun chaill clann-sgoile a-mach air mu 4,000 uair a thìde de dh’eacarsaich agus bu chòir dhan sin a bhith na chùis nàire.

Gu follaiseach, nuair thathas a’ cur feum air gearraidhean, nuair a tha cuideam a’ tighinn ar buidseatan, ’s e spòrs a’ chiad rud a tha fulang – a dh’aindeoin an tuigse a tha againn an-diugh air na buannachdan a tha na lùib, gu h-àraidh dha òigridh.

Tha an carthannas Urras Spòrs na h-Òigridh ag ràdh gum bu chòir dhan seo a bhith “na dhragh gu nàiseanta” agus e cuideachd a’ tighinn le figearan eile na chois: ’s e sin on bha na Geamachan Oilimpigeach ann an Lunnainn ann an 2012 (àm nuair a bha an dùthaich air a beò-ghlacadh leotha) tha an àireamh dhaoine a tha an sàs ann an spòrs air tuiteam 12%.

Chan eil na figearan sgoile ach a’ buntainn ri Sasainn is a’ Chuimrigh, tha foghlam fo smachd Riaghaltas na h-Alba, ach leis gur e na h-aon targaidean a tha ann an seo – dà uair a thìde de PE a thoirt dha gach neach cloinne san t-seachdain – agus leis gu bheil an aon chuideam ann air an airgead, bidh e iongantach mur eil e a’ chùis ro dhiofraichte.

Tha e maslach san là a tha ann, nuair a tha fada bharrachd tuigse mu thimcheall gnothaichean slàinte, nach eileas toirt àite dha spòrs is eacarsaich mar bu chòir.

Seo na bh’ aig Ali Oliver, àrd-oifigear Urras Spòrs na h-Òigridh ri ràdh mu dheidhinn: “Chan eil a dhàrna leth dhen chloinn an-diugh a’ faighinn uair a thìde gach là de dh’eacarsaich, a’ char as ìsle bu chòir dhaibh a bhith dèanamh, a rèir nan àrd oifigearan meidigeach.

“Tha seo a’ cur ri dùthaich far a bheil clann a’ call a-mach agus nach eil iad cho fallain ’s a bu chòir. Tha am fianais soilleir: clann nach eil toilichte agus nach eil fallain, chan ionnsaich iad agus tha sinn a’ faicinn toradh seo ann an ìrean àrda de thinneasan agus tinneas inntinn, a’ cur ri fàilligidhean ann an deuchainnean sgoile.”

Agus chan ann dìreach anns na seòmraichean clasa a bu chòir an leasan ionnsachadh. Dha fada cus, chan eil ann an spòrs ach a bhith coimhead bàl-coise air an telebhisein le pinnt, no na do sheasamh san fhuachd ri taobh na pàirce. ’S dòcha g’ eil e math dha teachd a-steach nan sgiobaidhean agus dha na taighean-seinnse, ach cha mhòr as fhiach e dha slàinte.

Chan eil spòrs, gu h-àraidh farpais ri daoine eile, dhan a h-uile duine, ach faodar a dhealbh son a bhith freagarrach dha duine sam bith. Seall fhèin air na tha de spòrs ann an-diugh dha ciorramaich, dearbhadh nach eil leisgeul sam bith ann.

Tha rannsachadh an dèidh rannsachadh air sealltainn nach e a-mhàin g’ eil eacarsaich math dhan bhodhaig ach math dhan inntinn agus tha sin cho fìor mu inbhich ’s a tha e dha clann-sgoile.

Tha àrdachadh air a thighinn air trioblaidean inntinn às dèidh Covid, agus tha e furasta a thuigsinn carson, agus bidh e còmhla rinn airson greis fhathast – dìreach aon adhbhar eile, am measg gu leòr, carson a bu chòir barrachd àite a thoirt dha eacarsaich nar beatha, g’ e bith dè ar n-aois.

English version

The recent release of government statistics showing school children have lost 4,000 hours of physical education in the last academic year should serve as a wake-up call. Clearly physical pursuits are still first in line when budgets come under pressure, a poor relation to academic studies, even if it goes against a growing realisation of the many benefits of sporting participation from a young age.

The Youth Sport Trust charity says it "should be a matter of immediate national concern” as it also comes against the backdrop of another worrying statistic: since the 2012 London Olympics, a time when the nation was gripped with sporting fervour, there has actually been an across-the-board drop of 12% in participation levels.

The school statistics only relate to England and Wales as education is devolved to the Scottish Government, but given that exactly the same targets exist north of the border - two of hours of PE every week for school children up to secondary four - and that the same budgetary pressures are brought to bear, it would be surprising to see a radically different trajectory.

It’s unforgivable that in this day and age of greater awareness on health issues sport is still not being given the importance it deserves.

Here’s what YST chief executive Ali Oliver MBE had to say on the matter: "Fewer than half of children in the UK currently meet 60 minutes a day of moderate to vigorous physical activity which is the chief medical officers' minimum recommended level.

"This is contributing to a nation where too many children are missing out, have poor wellbeing and lack a sense of belonging. The evidence is clear: unhappy and unhealthy children do not learn and we are seeing proof of this as high levels of persistent absence and mental ill health have been cited as undermining pupils' GCSE results."

And it’s not just in the classroom that these lessons need to be learned. For far too many, the definition of sport is an afternoon in the pub - or on the terraces with the promise of copious pints afterwards - watching a select band of footballers who have been fortunate enough to reach elite level. While no doubt the clubs and pubs are glad of the cash, it’s not the healthiest of ways to spend your time off.

Playing in competition, of course, is not for everyone, but the good thing about physical activity is that it can be shaped to a person’s individual needs and requirements. As the disabled athletes have shown us so inspiringly across a range of sports, there really is no barrier if the will is there.

Repeated studies have shown that not only is physical activity good for our bodies, it is also good for the mind, for school children, certainly, but also for adults, which can only lead to a far more productive population in the end.

There has been a notable and understandable rise in mental health issues after Covid, legacies which will remain with us for some time, and it’s just another reason - among very many good ones - as to why levels of physical activity should be raised right across the board. Unfortunately, however, it seems the trend is in the opposite direction.

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