sports day: Girls not allowed to run 400m

(112 Posts)
GotMyGoat Tue 16-Jul-13 21:37:34

Do you want to hear something jaw-droppingly outrageous?

School have sent out a message saying that due to health and safety concerns the sports day 400 m will become the 300 m race. Something about it being a sprint, a bit vague but ok. Fine. If you think it helps. Maybe it's connected to the hot weather?

Then, the email says that due to it being a sprint, and therefore posing a risk girls will not be allowed to run the 400m (now 300m) but boys will still be allowed.

What an awful example to set.

If girls run the 300m, do their heads fall off or something? Does anyone have any ideas why sprinting is more dangerous for girls?

I am so angry hat they think they can assume all boys are stronger/ better sprinters than all girls. I was awesome at the 400m at school and would have easily beaten most of the boys.

I'd like to send an email in reply, its going to be too late for this year but perhaps they can change their sexist attitude for next year? Any pointer of how I can sensitively call my employers sexist pigs? Many thanks!

MrsOakenshield Tue 16-Jul-13 21:58:11

I would actually name and shame the school in question, to be honest. That is absolutely outrageous and an appalling message to send to girls. I wouldn't just contact the school, either, I would be in touch with the LEA and your MP as well.

MrsOakenshield Tue 16-Jul-13 21:59:22

'run as well as boys', not 'as good'. Not being a pedant, just helping the OP get her email right!

GotMyGoat Tue 16-Jul-13 21:59:56

Secondary students, SecondRow. Many of them much taller than me...

GotMyGoat Tue 16-Jul-13 22:02:17

Thanks MrsOakenshield, I won't be contacting the MP as I need to keep my job for a while!

A sad face picture of me next to the race track in the local paper could perhaps be deemed as bringing the school into disrepute - which I think I'm contracted not to do!

MrsOakenshield Tue 16-Jul-13 22:05:56

think the school's bringing itself into disrepute!

SecondRow Tue 16-Jul-13 22:06:04

Well secondary students should love getting up a good froth of indignation about unequal treatment, right? Fan the flames, to mix a few metaphors smile

OddSockMonster Tue 16-Jul-13 22:06:10

Fair enough MrsOakenshield, beer affects my grammer.

scallopsrgreat Tue 16-Jul-13 22:07:13

I'd be asking them what kind of message do they think they are sending out to their girl students with this decision. Perhaps compare it paying women 25% less for being women or only enabling women to buy 75% of the goods/food men do. Or only giving them 75% of holidays or teaching time.

Oh and remind them of Ann Packer and Paula Radcliffe who runs marathons quicker than the majority of men in the world

This is really sinister that this is still happening in this day and age.

MrsOakenshield Tue 16-Jul-13 22:07:52

<whispers> grammar. Not grammer.

poachedeggs Tue 16-Jul-13 22:09:02

Use the word 'discrimination', because that's what it is, and because that word gets people backtracking like no other.

SecondRow Tue 16-Jul-13 22:09:26

And please update, Goat. I'm intrigued as to whether this really is just blatantly based on someone pulling some "weaker fairer sex" guff out of their arse. In this day and age?! but what else could it be...

Women have better endurance than men when it comes to running. This decision is based on blatant sexism and not remotely in reality. I'd be getting very shouty if it happened at our school.

Abra1d Tue 16-Jul-13 22:11:45

Run faster not quicker.

OddSockMonster Tue 16-Jul-13 22:13:42

I got affects right though, didn't I?

(It's been a hot day, beer took quick affect)

MrsOakenshield Tue 16-Jul-13 22:16:33

oh yes. Well. I think so. Actually, I'm not sure. Damn, that's my moral grammatical high ground out the window.

OddSockMonster Tue 16-Jul-13 22:17:03

Grammar aside, I'd also ask what message this sends the boys as well as the girls. Should they really have teachers telling them they're better than girls? That it's ok to discriminate and treat women as less capable?

MmeLindor Tue 16-Jul-13 22:17:09

'I am concerned that preventing girls from participating in the 300m race gives the impression that we consider them in some way less able than their male counterparts. The wonderful example of the London Olympics has inspired our girls to train hard this past year, and it would be demoralising for them to be excluded from this event.

Added to that, the school leaves itself vulnerable to a charge of sexism, and sex discrimination, which could lead to rather negative publicity'.

Are you sure you haven't time travelled from 1950s?

OddSockMonster Tue 16-Jul-13 22:19:57

It's one of the few grammar things I remember.

The beer affected my grammar, (verb)
The effect of the beer was poor grammar (noun or something).

GotMyGoat Tue 16-Jul-13 22:20:48

Ok, I promise to update. Thank you all for sharing my outrage, I can't promise I'm going to get a good response but I will certainly send something to someone tomorrow morning.

I am off to bed, where I can live out my Olympic dreams free from discrimination...

OddSockMonster Tue 16-Jul-13 22:21:44

Do your school have an Equality Policy? I have a feeling it's a compulsory one, and should be on the website. I should think this would quite probably contravene it.

scallopsrgreat Tue 16-Jul-13 22:22:11

I'd also ask what message this sends the boys as well as the girls. Really good point. It certainly sends out the message that boys are more worthy of a complete event. That only they are strong and fit enough to compete over the full distance. That is only going to give them a sense of entitlement.

OldBeanbagz Tue 16-Jul-13 22:22:58

Girls at my DCs school are allowed to run 600m from Y3. We must breed them tough here in Yorkshire!

Seriously i'd challenge the school on this one. Am i right in thinking that at the Olympics, men & women run over the same distances?

scallopsrgreat Tue 16-Jul-13 22:26:55

Yes they do. Women finally have parity with men over all track events apart from 110m hurdles where the women run 100m. Go figure confused There is still a discrepancy with heptathlon/decathlon though <sigh>

allmycats Tue 16-Jul-13 22:32:08

What age are the girls, UK athletics and English Schools athletics have always had a minimum age at which girls run 400metre which is correctly defined as a sprint race. In fact both UKA (now known as British Athletics) and English Schools athletics now have U15 boys Sprinting over 300 metres and not moving up to the 400 until they are
Under 17 age group.
So, the school may well be correct depending on the age of the girls.
Running further than 400 is NOT classified as sprinting which is why younger age groups can compete.
You need to know the rules of UKA and English Schools before claiming that this is wrong
This does not have to apply to 'open athletics meetings'
I am a UKA qualified coach and a UKA official so do know what I am talking about here

ravenAK Tue 16-Jul-13 22:32:11

Ours did Sports Day today. Races up to 1500m for all. How ridiculous - YADNBU.

(not that I spent my afternoon running the Sin Bin in a sweaty Portakabin or anything...)

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