Why the Sports Agency’s Sets Goal of Reducing to Dislike Sports Off the Mark | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Why the Sports Agency’s Sets Goal of Reducing to Dislike Sports Off the Mark

Tsuyoshi Hirao, former Japanese national rugby team member, cuts to the chase

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on LINE

Is it wrong to hate sports?

The Beijing Olympics 2022 has been a great success, and I am sure that the success of these athletes has sparked the interest of some people to take up sports.

On the other hand, a certain topic related to sports has been buzzing on SNS. It all started when a university student in Chiba Prefecture posted on a newspaper, “Is it wrong to dislike sports?” in response to the Sports Agency’s goal of halving the number of junior high school students who dislike sports from the current 16% to 8% over five years in the “Sports Basic Plan. A university student in Chiba Prefecture wrote in a newspaper, “Is disliking sports a bad thing?

In fact, this plan was set in 2017, and its meaning and the significance of the existence of the Sports Agency itself have been frequently questioned. In fact, what does this goal mean? I interviewed Professor Tsuyoshi Hirao of the Department of Junior Sports Education, Faculty of Developmental Education, Kobe Shinwa Women’s University, a former member of the Japanese national rugby team.

Most of the sports researchers around me reacted coldly to this goal.

There is little awareness of the problems children face in their individual educational settings and why they dislike sports, so they just tweak the numbers and make proposals with no substance.

Personally, I think it is nonsense to try to make people like something they don’t like. If you think of sports as a part of culture, just like music or art, it’s not right to force people who don’t like something to like it.

The Beijing Olympics provided many inspirational moments (Photo: Afro)

People who are good at sports are wondering how to change people who are not good at sports…

However, he adds that many teachers in the field of education are aware of the problem that the current state of physical education needs to be changed.

Children lose their sense of self-esteem and become frustrated in PE classes at school. I don’t think the term ‘sports aversion’ in itself reveals anything.

In a larger sense, physical education is not the only form of exercise. Walking, running, writing, shouting, and playing musical instruments are all forms of physical exercise, and life itself is an exercise. So, if you want to “reduce dislike of exercise,” I understand. This is because children who have labeled themselves as “not liking to move their bodies” through physical education will be reluctant to do anything.

That’s why teachers in the field are going through a lot of trial and error every day to prevent children from disliking physical activities after taking physical education classes.

It is pointed out that there is a huge difference between the awareness of the teachers in the field and the policy makers who only look at the numbers.

Unlike other subjects, in physical education, students are made to do mat exercises in front of everyone, so their inability to do them becomes apparent.

The fact that they can’t do it well is communicated to everyone, and they hate exercise. At school, we have to give grades, so it is inevitable that we will be graded, but essentially, physical movement is not something that should be graded in comparison to others.

The fact that physical education is a school subject is far removed from the essence of exercise, but there is no movement to review it from there. If we were to go that far, we would be able to reduce the number of people who dislike sports, but it just seems to be a numbers game.

The directors of the Sports Agency, Mr. Daichi Suzuki before and Mr. Koji Murofushi now, are all capable people themselves, so I think it is difficult for them to imagine the feelings of children who are not good at sports and the hardships faced by teachers.

The current head of the Sports Agency is Mr. Koji Murofushi. As you know, he is an Olympian (Photo: Afro)

Where did the “guts principle” start?

Furthermore, the history of physical education and the Olympics are deeply related to this background.

Since the Meiji era (1868-1912), physical education has been influenced by military training and has been used to develop the body of a soldier or a corporate warrior, and this character still persists.

However, after the end of the war, there was a time when an idyllic form of physical education was sought. However, after the Tokyo Olympics were decided to be held in 1964, the strict physical education teachers from the pre-war period were called in again because they had to win a medal, and it is said that the gutsy approach started.

In light of this history, we need to break away from it and fundamentally reconsider what physical education is and what sports are.

In a sense, sports are just one way to develop a healthy body that is necessary for life. Therefore, I think that the future of physical education does not have to be limited to sports, but can be as simple as tree climbing, mountain climbing, or even playful activities for elementary school children.

If you’re a teenager, the original idea of PE is to think about the content with the goal of physical growth, and sports are something that goes beyond that, like ‘I want to play basketball because I like basketball’ or ‘I like baseball. So, if you like PE but don’t want to take sports that seriously, joining the brass band club is an option.

In this way, I think it is important to think about sports, physical education, and exercise with a clear distinction between them.

In addition, there are various problems with the way school sports clubs are organized.

Club activities are a form of sports, but they are only one activity within an educational institution, and their purpose is education.

For example, in the case of professional athletes, their livelihood is to achieve results in games, so if they are in dire straits, such as being terminated from their contracts, they can take painkillers and participate in games as one of their options.

But there is no such thing as taking a painkiller shot because you can’t compete in the next tournament in an athletic activity. Most of the time, it will be an after-effect or old injury that will damage your physical health. It is a big problem that the competition is heating up so much. We have to stop making it a beautiful thing to push ourselves to the limit.

However, physical education teachers are changing in some areas and are currently in a transition period.

I’ve been talking to junior high and high school P.E. teachers for about 10 years during my visits to schools for educational training, and I have the impression that they are gradually becoming more democratic. When I ask my students, more and more of them say that they enjoyed PE in high school.

However, the old style of waiting in a line before PE starts, and the PE committee members saying, “Watch out, bow! Sometimes I hear from graduates who have become teachers that they still enjoy PE. Sometimes I get a call from a graduate who has become a teacher saying, “It’s so hard.

While I was in school, I learned how to teach children how to have fun in order to eliminate their dislike for physical activities, but when I go to the field, I find that the old military style of physical education is still being used. I’m puzzled by this gap. Perhaps there is still a generation at the top that still believes in strict physical education.

I think it will take a long time to fundamentally change the way physical education is conducted. The current students may be confused, but all the faculty members sincerely hope that these graduates will eventually change the field of physical education after they have been properly educated to include such gaps.

Professor Hirao then recommended to me “The Birth and Transformation of Sports Guts Theory: Will to Excellence, Pursuit of Victory” by Yusuke Okabe, published by Junpo.

When it comes to guts, many people may remember Hirofumi Omatsu, the coach who coached the Oriental witches in the Tokyo Olympics.

Although he is known for his blood-curdling training, Omatsu actually rejects the idea of hard work and guts. However, in order to become the best in the world, it is necessary to be strict, and behind the grueling training, he consulted with doctors to manage the physical condition of the players, and he also paid attention to their diet.

That’s why the members of the Oriental Witches at that time never complained or complained about Mr. Omatsu.

However, the media saw only one side of the story and claimed that the team had built the world’s best team by practicing so hard and that it took guts. He has made it clear that he doesn’t like the way it’s being covered.

Of course, having strong feelings and self-confidence, or “mentalism,” is necessary not only in sports, but in all situations. If you don’t have all of your mind, body, and spirit, including your skills and physical strength, you will not be able to take on any challenges or achieve any results. That’s why I think it’s very important to reexamine our gut feelings.

It’s not good to be strict without any basis in the old ways, and it’s not good to be easy and boring. I think we need to think about and design a system for physical education, club activities, and sports that can properly teach the true joy of using the body.

Tsuyoshi Hirao is a professor at the Department of Junior Sports Education, Faculty of Developmental Education, Kobe Shinwa Women’s University. He played for Doshisha University, Kobe Steel and other strong rugby teams, and participated in the 1999 World Cup in Wales. After retiring, he completed a master’s degree in education at Kobe Affinity Women’s University.

  • Interview and text by Wakako Tacko

    Born in 1973. After working for a publishing company and an advertising production company, became a freelance writer. In addition to interviewing actors and actresses for weekly and monthly magazines, she writes drama columns for a variety of media. JUMP 9 no Tobira ga Openitoki" (both published by Earl's Publishing).

Photo Gallery5 total

Photo Selection

Check out the best photos for you.

Related Articles