sport

MacQueen backs DCMS report

Former England Women's rugby union international Vicky MacQueen agrees with the findings from a Parliamentary report suggesting schools must play a bigger role in encouraging girls to play sport competitively.

Last month the DCMS select committee unveiled its Women and Sport Report which highlighted its concern at a lack of variety of sports offered to girls at school.

And MacQueen, a level 3 qualified rugby coach and Head of PE at Redmoor Academy in Hinckley, believes schools must tailor their approach in order to develop the next generation of sportswomen.

"PE used to be very much anything goes within reason and we're just in the middle of putting a new curriculum together," MacQueen told Sky Sports.

"We did some questionnaires and we've listened to the kids, particularly the girls who expressed a strong desire for them to improve their personal conditioning.

"Now we're doing things like aerobics and boxercise. We've adapted our curriculum because from a PE point of view we want them to be fit and healthy and we actually find that leads on to the competitive element.

"Suddenly the girls want to get better, get fitter, get stronger and that's when the competitive edge comes through."

The DCMS report also suggested that PE in schools is perceived to be very much geared towards boys. MacQueen has also seen evidence of this but insists girls at her school are given as much encouragement to play sport as the boys.

"Certainly a few years back (PE was very much focused on boys) but there has been a shift," she said.

"From my point of view in our school I think I have helped inspire the girls but I have seen it in other schools where it is all about the boys and focused on the boys which is a shame.

"In our school we concentrate on making sure it is pretty even and if the girls are good enough we get them to participate with the boys as well so that we really push the girls who do want to achieve.

"This is because they can get quite disheartened sometimes when they are in a PE setting with girls that just aren't good enough so we do it on ability not if you are a girl or a boy.

"If they are good enough to play football with the boys then that is what they do."