Gym Class or Growing Up?


Beth Cummings, School News and Features Editor

Dodging balls and throwing frisbees may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but these activities may be more important than they seem. Gym class is typically either loved or hated by participants–you rarely find someone in between. What appears to be a light, pointless class actually has many benefits that often get overlooked. The change in the way classes are run post-Covid is detrimental to students’ physical and mental health, and needs to be reevaluated. 

Not everyone is athletically inclined and not everyone enjoys the feeling of sweat dripping down their neck and sticking to their skin. However, that doesn’t mean that sports are not incredibly important. Setting aside the obvious argument that some students need gym to encourage them to be physically active, there are many other factors that need to be considered. 

Being on a team builds connections between peers. Any time a person has to place trust in someone else, they are forming a relationship with that person. Temporary team sports like kickball, soccer, football, and so many others teach students not only how to throw a ball, but how to be a teammate. Back when grades depended on putting effort into the sports and how much a student cared, the physical education program thrived. 

Experiencing an athletic atmosphere is also important for emotional development. Losing teaches us how to accept not always having our way and winning teaches the reward that hard work can bring. By participating it teaches that although you may not find yourself to be the star quarterback, you can still bring value to a team. When gym class becomes just throwing a beanbag at a hole for 20 minutes, all of those morals are no longer being taught. It cannot be assumed that students have already learned such lessons, because there are always extenuating circumstances–especially with Covid. 

Gym is an important part of the school experience. From kindergarten to senior year, it is an integral part of growing up and shaping a young individual. Many students find passion for their sports on the blacktop of their very first school. Taking away the experience is doing a disservice to all present and future students that may last longer than anyone expects.