Pupils to Get a Taste of the BMX Lifestyle; Education Focus - RESEARCH Shows Teenagers Are Being Turned off Sport, Prefering to Play Computer Games and Watch TV Instead. but a New School Sports Tour Could Turn Things Around

South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales), September 13, 2001 | Go to article overview

Pupils to Get a Taste of the BMX Lifestyle; Education Focus - RESEARCH Shows Teenagers Are Being Turned off Sport, Prefering to Play Computer Games and Watch TV Instead. but a New School Sports Tour Could Turn Things Around


Byline: Sarah Welsh

SKATEBOARDING over quarterpipes and a funbox are not usually found on a school curriculum, but this could all be about to change.

Soon, many students up and down Britain could know that in skating lingo quarterpipes and a funbox make up a skating ramp, while flatland BMX biking is tricks performed on a level surface. At least they will if Radiator Sports PR has anything to do with it.

The company, which organises sports events nationwide, has launched an Alternative Physical Education (APE) tour to tempt children back to more healthy pastimes. And if the response of students at Whitchurch High School in Cardiff is anything to go by, the company could be on the right track.

Managing Director of Radiator Gaby Jesson told the Echo: "The APE tour is really based on a pilot visit we made to a school in Hampstead last year, when we took a couple of BMX riders there to demonstrate the sport.

"They had cycling on their curriculum but wanted to look at it in a different way and the response we had there was so brilliant we decided to expand on the idea. Loads of kids just seem to want to get involved in alternative sports which is great.

"Research shows young teenagers are not interested in sport because there are now so many other leisure pastimes, so we thought this was something we could do to re-ignite the interest in physical education."

The APE tour, which has cost in the region of pounds 30,000 to put together, has been sponsored by alternative sport brands such as Etnies which makes skateboarding equipment and Dig BMX magazine. It has visited eight cities across Britain, including Cardiff, so far, and the plan is to expand the tour even more next year.

It consists of an hour demonstration of skateboarding and BMX by six professionals, followed by a chance for the students to try out the equipment if the school agree.

Skateboarder Ali Cairns, 26, who is the current European Vert Skating champion, has been involved with the sport for 14 years.

He said: "I agreed to take part in the tour because I thought it was a really good idea to take the sport right back to the bottom level in schools. It's just good to show kids there are other sports besides football and rugby. …

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Pupils to Get a Taste of the BMX Lifestyle; Education Focus - RESEARCH Shows Teenagers Are Being Turned off Sport, Prefering to Play Computer Games and Watch TV Instead. but a New School Sports Tour Could Turn Things Around
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