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By saying that ‘skateboarding teaches you responsibility’ Mr. Flint means that skateboarders …
1) use protection.
2) don’t miss practice.
3) help each other.
Presenter: Hello! In this program we continue our series on the problems of
Physical Education in modern schools. Our guest today is Mr. Flint, a
skateboarding teacher who believes that skateboarding should be on the school
curriculum. Good morning, Mr. Flint! Why do you think skateboarding should be
taught at school?
Mr. Flint: Good morning! Well, first of all, we all know that skateboarders are
physically fit, have strong muscles, strong bones, and unquestionable balance.
When you skate, there isn’t a single muscle in your body that isn’t actively
working. In addition to these purely physical advantages, look at the abstract
benefits. We learn how to persevere; we have mutual respect for ourselves and
other skaters. We have a huge social network, we spend hours outdoors and we are
creative people who push our own limits to the max. We say, ‘Have you ever seen
a lazy, obese skateboarder?’
Presenter: Well, listening to you, it does sound like it’s the perfect sport for
developing both your body and your character. Yet, often people believe that
skateboarding is a troublesome and meaningless activity, and there are many
public places – including schools – where you can see signs saying ‘No
Mr. Flint: It’s true that people often don’t understand skateboarding as a sport. It
is sometimes associated with gangs of angry youths hanging around town centers
at night and therefore seen as an “underground” sport. It is a shame as there are
some brilliant role models out there. In fact, speaking of bad behavior, get
skateboards in schools and you will take the aggression out of the classroom and
into the adrenaline rush of tricks! We need schools to consider skateboarding as a
viable PE option. After all, the International Olympic Committee has approved
Skateboarding as a new sport which will be part of the Olympic Games in Tokyo
Presenter: Speaking of tricks, aren’t those dangerous? When I personally watch
skateboarders going up and down the slopes and doing summersaults it takes my
Mr. Flint: Well, first of all, skateboarding teaches you responsibility, and as many
skateboarders wear helmets, wrist guards and protection for knees and elbows, bad
injuries are fortunately rare. Secondly, it doesn’t have to be advanced tricks right
from the start. It usually takes months before you can consider doing any tricks at
all. And finally, making it a class means teaching how to do it safely.
Presenter: Wouldn’t making it a class also mean that it would be less attractive
and even boring?
Mr. Flint: I don’t think so. Skateboarding is always fun. Find me a town, city or
village where kids don’t skateboard and I’ll be amazed. Besides, it’s good for
anyone. Girls and boys can compete equally. It is also good for those who are not
natural athletes or enjoy competitive contact sports. Every student can participate
alone or in teams. It is especially helpful for energetic hyperactive kids who cannot
concentrate – have them skateboard between the classes and the problem is solved!
We should embrace the subculture of skateboarding rather than push it away.
Presenter: What will it mean for schools financially, though? Isn’t the equipment
Mr. Flint: I have to admit that one of the main drawbacks to introducing a
skateboarding program to a school is the cost. Skateboards can differ in price,
depending on what they are made of – wood, fiberglass, aluminum or mixed
metals. Safety equipment can also be costly. But think about the results – and you
will see that it’s worth it! In fact, there are already a number of schools both in the
US and around the world which have found money in their budgets to implement a
skateboarding curriculum of some kind and believe me – they don’t regret it!
Mr. Flint: Well, first of all, skateboarding teaches you responsibility, and as many skateboarders wear helmets, wrist guards and protection for knees and elbows, bad injuries are fortunately rare.