On the day that saw the first British gold medallists at the 2012 Olympics, it was good to be reminded of how Bradley Wiggins was inspired by his PE teacher (TES) and to read both the praise for Helen Glover from her former teachers (BBC) and her own supportive message for teachers:
"Within minutes of standing on the podium listening to the national anthem, Ms Glover" a former teacher "recognised the influence of her former profession, tweeting: 'It's fantastic. I hope this can be an inspiration everywhere for people to do sport and for PE teachers, too.'" (TES)
The Association for Physical Education also commented:
"We are over the moon with Helen and [her rowing partner] Heather's success and particularly that it was two women who collected the first gold medal.
"We hope they go on to inspire children to take up an activity and strive to be part of future Olympics. [British gymnast] Beth Tweddle said it was her PE teacher who inspired her, which is a testament to PE teachers in schools."
[Update, 3 August 2012]: Geography teacher Dan Fox is a defender in Team GB’s hockey team. “On the non-competitor side, scores of teachers are involved in making the 2012 Olympics happen”, including Margaret Werrett, “one of a handful of official starters at the Games.” (TES)
Let's hope that this school-inspired sporting success silences some of the critics of school sports, including sections of the media and even the Prime Minister, who has commented on the supposed lack of "competitive sports" in state schools. [Update: 3 August 2012]: Research from The Sunday Telegraph suggests that the majority of Team GB’s athletes went to state schools.
First posted: 1 August 2012
Photos: London 2012