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Sack, three-legged races get the sack from school from sports day!

Tue, 01 Jan 2008 ANI

London, July 14 (ANI): Education authorities' decision to ban the traditional sack race and three-legged event from an Edwardian themed sports day on July 14, fearing that kids might fall over and get injured, has been slammed by campaigners as "completely over the top".


Teachers at John F Kennedy Primary in Washington, Tyne and Wear, banned the traditional races after discussions with staff from Beamish Open Air Museum, where the sports day was staged.


"We looked at a three-legged race and a sack race but we want to minimise the risk to the children," the Daily Star quoted Simon Woolley, head of education at Beamish, County Durham, as saying.


"We had to assess which of the activities were liable to cause a risk. We thought we would be better to do hopping and running instead because there was less chance of them falling over," Woolley added.


However, the move has not gone down well with the Campaign Against Political Correctness group.


Founder Laura Midgely, of Whitley Bay, North Tyneside, said: "It's health and safety rules gone mad. It's completely over the top. Three-legged races are very constructive and involve teamwork ... they are good for a number of reasons. It's a great shame."


Laura added: "Why should these activities be so dangerous when they're fine in every other school? We certainly had no problems with these events when I was at school. The worst thing that could possibly happen is the children fall over. They're going to fall over doing any event aren't they?"


The event's organisers, however, insist that they decided not to include the traditional races considering the fact that the children had not performed such activities for a long time.


"An awful lot of schools haven't done these kind of activities for a long time, so I don't see that it's a problem," said Gill Hanley.


"We decided we had too many events anyway and we wanted the easiest things that we could get for the children to take part in," added the teacher-organiser.


Conkers, football, and skipping are the other activities that have been banned by schools. (ANI)


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Ray Hurst

July 14, 2008 at 12:00 AM

Banning sack races has nothing to do with health and safety.

Stopping children from having fun like this is way over the top. As president of IOSH, Europe?s largest health and safety professional body, I?m totally opposed to bans that wrap children in cotton wool and don't improve youngsters? lives. It?s obvious that children need to experience minor risks when they?re young to help them be risk aware and not risk averse.

Ray Hurst
Institution of Occupational Safety and Health



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