Teenagers rejecting sport as 'uncool'

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The Independent Online
TEENAGERS ARE spending less time taking part in physical exercise because they believe it is "uncool", a survey of teachers and pupils published yesterday shows.

The research, conducted on behalf of Adidas UK, revealed that fears about self-image discouraged girls, in particular, from exercising. Physical education teachers reported that swimming lessons could be a "real struggle", with girls fearful of spoiling their hair.

In the report, titled Sport Uncovered, teenagers cited regulation physical education kits as a key factor in deterring them from taking part in sports. Teachers said they would like to see codes for sports kits relaxed, single sex physical education classes and a wider range of activities to combat the decline in activity.

The research was commissioned after previous surveys highlighted growing trends towards "couch potato" behaviour among young people, with one in 10 children spending less than an hour a week playing sport in the summer holidays.

Kate Hoey, the sports Minister, said in a foreword to the report that the Government was taking steps to address the concerns. She said: "We are backing plans to create 600 new school sports co-ordinators across the country with the job of increasing the range of opportunities that children have to play sport after school."