Did your primary PE help develop your movement skills for running?


In the wake of the news that the Office for Standards in Education (OFSTED) have raised concerns over the quality of Physical Education (PE) in schools we are asking if your PE experiences developed a good foundation for you as a runner.

Professor Kathleen Armour, head of school in the School of Sport and Exercise Sciences, University of Birmingham and Liz Nicholl OBE, Chief Executive of UK Sport were interviewed on BBC Breakfast today and voiced their concerns around the quality of PE in primary schools. The primary school years are sometimes referred to as "the skill hungry years" as we learn skills more quickly between the ages of around 8 - 12 years. There is a window of opportunity to develop balance and co-ordination at this time and both of these are needed if you are to run well and injury-free.

Running is essentially a one-legged sport. You need dynamic balance and coordinaton if you are to run smoothly and without these skills your running form and style are compromised and so injury risk is greater.

Those runners whose primary PE teachers or coaches helped them to develop ABCs in PE as well as in literacy will have built the foundations for a healthy and happy running career. ABCs in PE refer to Agility, Balance and Coordination as opposed to the letters ABC and this in turn develops "physical literacy". Liz Nicholl referred to "physical literacy" during the interview when asked whether playtime could do the job of developing these basic movement skills. She pointed out that we wouldn't accept teachers giving comics to children to read in a literacy lesson without any teaching and so we should realise that PE needs to be taught by specialists who understand children's physical development.

Let us know whether your experiences of PE helped you develop robust running by visiting our facebook page.