Mixed sports teams in schools good for boys and girls

School sports teams should not be separated by gender.

Some schools mistakenly believe that certain sports are physically demanding and meant for only boys.

However, doesn't that send the message that boys and girls can learn in a classroom together, but cannot play sports together? Doesn't it suggest that equality between the two genders is possible only on a mental level? Why is there a presumption that girls cannot take the pain as boys in certain sports?

The truth is that boys and girls can be equally good at sports. But, to separate them at a young age will teach them that maybe boys are better than or superior to girls.

On the other hand, allowing them to play together brings out the best in players of both sexes, with fewer complaints and fights in comparison with sports played by a single gender.

Boys behave more responsibly and tend to be less aggressive. They also develop more patience, while girls benefit by improving their skills and strength to keep up with boys.

Boys might learn how to be better team players, while girls could learn how to take up more leadership roles.

Assigning team membership in a sports league based on skill level, as opposed to gender or even age, allows each team to be more competitive and recognises the individual athletic skills of the players, regardless of their gender.

Playing together also creates opportunities to meet and socialise with players of the opposite sex. Some players may even try harder and play better to avoid being ridiculed in front of the opposite sex.

Assigning team membership in a sports league based on skill level, as opposed to gender or even age, allows each team to be more competitive and recognises the individual athletic skills of the players, regardless of their gender.

Cheng Choon Fei

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 08, 2018, with the headline 'Mixed sports teams in schools good for boys and girls'. Print Edition | Subscribe