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Why do students stop playing sports?

Though there are multiple reasons why aging pupils may abandon sport it can't be denied that, in the British climate, wet weather is a significant detractor of the school sporting experience.

Motivating shivering P.E. students on rainy days can be nothing short of a herculean task.

Most of us wouldn’t relish the thought of braving a November climate in shorts and a polo shirt. Unsurprisingly, pupils can be equally unwilling to engage, with some sympathetic parents even furnishing students with ‘get out of jail free’ cards in the form of sick notes.

In fact, as many as one in ten parents admitted to forging sick notes for avoidance of P.E. lessons. And the effects of bad weather don’t stop at a single missed class.

Memories of frozen fingers and damp socks can have a lasting impact on a person’s future interest in sport, leading to a decline in participation as soon as physical education is no longer mandatory.

A common reason students have to endure outdoor P.E. in bad weather is sports facilities that simply aren’t big enough. Whether they’re in demand during exam season, or needed to service too many classes, students are left short of adequate sports provision.

Or, the facilities the students do have are so run down that they are put off using them. Cramped and undesirable changing facilities servicing small and dingy halls do not, typically, inspire sporting success.

If facilities are inadequate and students are uninspired, even the most well-meaning of sports programmes can fall by the wayside for lack of uptake and waning staff enthusiasm.

In fact, substandard sports facilities can cause up to 70 percent of young people to abandon sports on leaving school.

Inspiring sports spaces

When Collinson designed and built a new sports facility at Gordano School in Portishead, Olly Wilson couldn’t believe the spacious and inviting facility was intended for students.

“The first time I walked in, I just thought that it’s just incredible how this is for us to use,” said Gordano pupil, Olly.

The benefits of a fit-for-purpose indoor space were realised almost immediately.

Said Head of PE, Emma Rose: “Today, we should have been doing hockey. The astroturf is frozen, but we’ve been able to come into this wonderful sports hall and do indoor hockey...we can adapt slightly so the students can still get their full range of activities, but not be put off by the cold and the weather.”

For those schools with poor facilities it may be easy to presume better quality sports provision will always be out of reach. However, the savings associated with non-traditional building methods may mean that, with the right funding, costs are no longer prohibitive.

As national sports facility specialists with expertise in tensile and modular construction, we’re well-versed in supporting funding applications. Our sports facilities can be the ideal choice for grant funded facilities due to the lower costs and shorter timescales involved.

If you’d like to speak with a member of our team about your project, call 01995 606 451 today.

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