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YES – Roxanna Wright, editor-in-chief

Britain is increasingly becoming an obese nation. It has been found that we have the highest obesity statistics in Western Europe, and these statistics are only increasing. In the 2020 NHS Statistics on Obesity, Physical Activity and Diet in England, it was found that 67% of adult men and 60% of adult women were considered overweight or obese. It not only harms people’s quality of life by increasing the risk of developing health problems, such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol, which increase the risk of stroke and coronary heart disease, but it also also adds tremendous pressure on our NHS. One sure way to improve this statistic is to get children to participate in a weekly sports club, whether inside or outside of school.

Humans are well known as creatures of habit; we stick to what we’re comfortable with and we like routines. If exercise is forced into a child’s routine on a weekly basis from the age of 5 to 16, it would not seem natural not to be part of a sports club early in their life. adult and hopefully later.

This technique would not only prevent obesity in adulthood, but also obesity in childhood. NHS statistics revealed that 20% of children in 6th grade, children aged 10 to 11, were labeled obese. What’s more, statistics have shown that only 47% of children and young people meet current guidelines for physical activity in the UK.

The idea that it is mandatory for a child to join a sports club not only reduces the risk of obesity, health problems and meeting exercise standards, but it also works wonders in terms of Mental Health. Endorphins, dopamine, and serotonin are all chemicals that are released in the brain during exercise. Endorphins are linked to stress and pain relief. Dopamine is linked to emotions of pleasure, but it also plays an important role in cognitive function and motivation. Finally, serotonin is known as the happy chemical; stabilize our mood and our sense of well-being. Who wouldn’t want to participate in something that makes us feel as good as exercising?

In addition to all of these beautiful chemicals, sport gives you the opportunity to socialize with like-minded people. Playing as a team or learning and competing alongside other people can make you feel like part of a community. When you are in school, you can form closer friendships with your fellow students. Then, as you get older and join adult classes, you will be able to meet people from all over the country with a variety of backgrounds, values, and hobbies that you might not have encountered otherwise.

However, in an interview with a teacher at a primary school in East Sussex, a problem arose over the idea of ​​making sports clubs compulsory. “Making it obligatory can take away the fun if you feel like it becomes a chore or something you have to do. Sport has to be fun no matter what level you play at, and that’s why I think sport is so good, because that element of fun is something that I haven’t had with other lessons. When I was young. So making it mandatory could ruin this philosophy, so as mentioned before, I think its place in the program is sufficient.

The question that forcing children to participate in sports clubs can create the feeling that it is a chore, was an issue I took into consideration when considering this idea. However, according to the Worlds Sports Encyclopaedia, there are 8,000 indigenous sports and sports games around the world, with 200 of these sports internationally recognized by an international governing body. Unfortunately, elementary and secondary schools will not have the facilities, money, resources or time to allow students to try out each of these sports in physical education class. Therefore, the chances of finding a sport that you are really passionate about in school are limited.

As a solution, by applying a rule that children must participate in a weekly sport, either inside or outside of school, they are more likely to explore a multitude of types of sports, further expanding more their perspective on exercise than what schools can offer them. These sports can range from Ultimate Frisbee and Synchronized Swimming to Horseback Riding and Tae Kwon Do. With the hundreds of sports to choose from available to children, today it seems quite impossible for a single child not to have a particular interest or pleasure in one of these sports. Concluding that not only the child will be positively impacted by this rule, but the NHS will be too.

NO – Charlie Batten, sports print publisher

When I was in school, I was one of those kids who loved physical education. I was a bit versatile in all sports and spent time competing for my school in various sports and competitions. At one point, I even had the opportunity to do physical education every day at school or participate in a sports-related after-school club, because for me that was what I had the most. more fun growing up. Some of my friends, however, did not share the same experience.

For my classmates, physical education was their most hated subject as they were forced to change clothes, stand in the cold, and have a teacher yelling at them to run after a ball they didn’t really know. why they were running. Put simply, they didn’t like the sport and the idea that they should be forced to do even more would have been horrible.

For many schoolchildren, physical education is just a subject like English, math and science. If you force a kid to spend more time doing math, chances are they’ll start to hate it and that’s not what you want with sports. A better alternative is to have schools increase the variety of sports on which they base their physical education curriculum so that children can find one that suits them in the hope that they choose it after they have finished. school or after completing full time. education. It only takes one sport that piques the interest of a child to create a lifelong attachment.

To that, I understand that there is the argument that not all sports are accessible to all due to various costs and this is where the government has to step in. Many times I have heard them comment and complain about the rates of childhood obesity in this country, but I have failed to have a lasting impact on its prevention. To help, they must provide funds to schools and sports clubs to buy or at least rent equipment that will allow people to participate without worrying about the costs to children or their parents. There is also the concern of the cost of the trip, which is why there should be more local sports clubs that offer a variety of sports for its local children as well as for adults. They must also take into account single-parent households and find a way to always allow these children to go to sporting events because they deserve the same opportunities as children from two-parent households. Of course, this will all cost the government quite a bit of money, but it would be money that will be saved through the treatment of obesity-related diseases in children and adults.

There is no point in forcing people to increase their participation in sport as this will only arouse resentment from some people. What needs to be done instead is to give people the opportunity to play sports and hope that for some of them it will cause them to increase their physical exercise and improve their physical health.

Sport is also not the only way to improve people’s health. Healthy eating can also have a huge impact on children and teaching these good habits while their youngsters can ensure that these habits stay with them into their adulthood. This would be an incredibly easy feat to achieve as it could be easily taught in physical education or science classes and if taken seriously enough to be a recurring theme in the curriculum, it would increase the chances of it sticking in. children’s minds.

Overall, I think forcing kids to join a sports club is not the right way to tackle childhood obesity or to get them interested and get involved in sports. On the one hand, this will have a negative impact on the mental health of some children. It will sound like the EP that a lot of kids have never enjoyed and never will. There are also other methods that I think are more realistic to try to tackle these problems, such as increasing public funding for sports clubs to allow increased participation at no cost to participants. Increasing efforts to educate children about the importance of healthy eating and the positive effects it can have on their health will also improve overall health.