중앙데일리

Initiative aims to boost rate of females in sports

Feb 14,2015
The Seoul education authority announced Thursday that it had selected 50 establishments in Seoul to run gender-specific physical education courses next month, part of efforts to reverse statistics that show limited participation by female teenagers in school-sponsored sports.

Designated elementary, middle and high schools in the capital will open an array of courses for girls, including basketball and jump-rope, the Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education announced in a joint press release with the Korean Federation of Teachers’ Associations (KFTA).

“Only 20 percent of female teenagers participate in [school sports clubs] at least once a week,” said Ahn Yang-ok, the head of KFTA, citing data from the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.

Lack of exercise, Ahn continued, leads to “serious problems” like obesity and depression.

The Seoul educational office is also spearheading other initiatives - distributing physical education manuals for 100 athletic programs targeting girls and increasing the number of fitting rooms and indoor gyms at schools, for instance.

The office added that it hoped its efforts would boost the rate of female participation in school sports by the end of this year from the current 21 percent to 30 percent. Ideally, the office said, that figure would increase to 40 percent by 2016 and eventually 50 percent by 2017.

Tests evaluating girls’ sports knowledge and physical strength will be conducted twice a year - once in April and December. The results will be used to further develop the programs.

BY SHIN JIN, LEE SUNG-EUN [selee@joongang.co.kr]







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