Football is our national sport and yet some schools continue to offer it solely to boys Imagine a school that divided its subjects by gender. A school that didn’t allow girls to study chemistry or algebra, and the only way to access those subjects was to pursue private tuition outside of school hours at their own expense. There would, rightly, be outrage. When it comes to PE lessons, however, it remains perfectly acceptable for a school to offer different sports to boys and girls. The rationale? Archaic and gendered ideas about physical activity: football and rugby are best suited to boys; netball and dance are best for girls. At the same time that we have public health and sports governing bodies working to promote football and rugby to women and girls, we are turning a blind eye to a blatantly sexist and outdated practice in education that tells girls those very same sports are not for them.
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