Coach Corner

Over a third of secondary schoolgirls play no sport
Over a third of girls in secondary schools are playing little or no sport outside scheduled PE classes, according to a study by the Economic and Social Research Institute (ERSI) in a report published in 2005.

It found that more than one in four of all secondary-level students get one session or less a week of extra-curricular or non-school sports. And girls are less likely to be involved in sport, with 38 per cent playing little or none outside school hours compared to 17 per cent of boys.

Compiled by Tony Fahey, Liam Delany and Brenda Gannon, the study also found that secondary students are receiving less PE than recommended per week. They are getting on average just over one hour a week instead of the recommended two hours. The ESRI surveyed 7,300 school children in 217 primary and secondary schools in Ireland.

Mr Fahey said the drop off in sports among older students could be partly blamed on the pressure of school work. A lack of facilities in schools is also a problem.

Meanwhile, a survey of 1,400 primary schools carried out by Fine Gael has found that over 75 per cent have no sports hall and almost half have no playing pitch.

Irish Times October 2005