The London Olympics has led to a re-examination of the role of sport in the British schools system. Some, like London Mayor (and future Prime Minister) Boris Johnson have called for 2 hours of sports in state schools.Current Prime Minister David Cameron has stepped into the debate, apparently hoping to quash the dissent from Johnson (Cameron’s government had scrapped a modest target for 2 hours of sport a week earlier this year).
However, he may have bitten off more than he can chew with comments on British television today:
“I see it with my own children… because you know, the two hours that is laid down is often met through sort of Indian dancing classes. Now, I’ve got nothing against Indian dancing classes but that’s not really sport.”
“The trouble we have had with targets up to now, which was two hours a week, is that a lot of schools were meeting that by doing things like Indian dance or whatever, that you and I probably wouldn’t think of as sport, so there’s a danger of thinking all you need is money and a target. If that was the solution we would have solved the problem by now.”
Cameron’s comments about “Indian dance or whatever” have, of course, been picked up in the Indian press. NDTV reports that Cameron seems to be referring to Bollywood style dancing, and his criticisms miss the mark:
Besides its cultural value, ‘Bollywood dance’ is also seen as an exercise, but contrary to Cameron’s remark, there have been few instances of it being taught or performed regularly in schools.
Jennie Jethwani, managing director and co-founder of Bollywood Dance London, has also challenged Cameron to take part in an “Indian Dance” class, the Telegraph reports.
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