New lifetime gym causes gender divide

Annie Haroun '16

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Physical education, gym class, free time, torture. Call it whatever you will. For years, the physical education classes in Westport have predominantly consisted of the same type of curriculum. Each class goes through certain sports units, health units and even swim lessons that make P.E. one of the best classes offered at Staples for some and, for others, the worst. There has always been a divide between the students who enjoy the competition of P.E. and those who prefer to walk to class not drenched in sweat.

Now Staples has implemented a new choice of Physical Education class for those who would like to participate in “Team Activities” and those who would like to pursue “lifetime activities.”

The titles say it all. Team activities consist of intense, often action-packed sports such as football, volleyball and soccer, while the life-time activities, such as golf and yoga, are more relaxed.

However, in some cases, there may even be only one boy or only one girl in the class. Some don’t see this as a bad thing. Noah Yokoi ’16 is the only boy in his lifetime activities class, but he still arrives with a positive attitude.

“Being the only guy in a 28 person class is like being a piece of fruit in a salad,” Yokoi said. “Most people hate it, but it’s not that bad.”

Since the lifetime activities class generally consists of easy, relaxed courses, the students don’t have to worry about the heavy competition and exercise.

“I don’t mind it,” Yokoi said. “It’s 45 minutes of straight chill.”

Lilly Valente ’16 is in the opposite situation, as she is the only girl surrounded by 30 boys in the team activities class. Still, Valente likes the class.

“It’s a little scary walking into gym class because I feel like the competition is on such a higher level,” Valente said, “but it is really fun because almost everyone gets into the games and actually tries to win.”

The guidance counselors are also generally supportive in the new physical education courses and are completely neutral when it comes to students choosing their class.

“We present the two options to the students,” Huydic said, “and we ask them where do you see yourself fitting in,” guidance counselor Ed Huydic said.

The counselors fully support any decision made by the students which is why this new program is working so well. The students finally can choose their interests when it comes to physical education.