As you probably know, Andre loves sports, especially when it entails leaving the books behind for a while. For the first time last year, the students who were admitted to his school at sec 1 via sports DSA or appeals were placed in the same class. Being in a sports class means that Andre is surrounded by kids who reinforce his love of all things active. PE is where his classmates are the most competitive, even in a casual game. When a PE period is cancelled, it is met with the most vehement and indignant outcry.
The situation couldn't be more different with Lesley-Anne. Lesley-Anne dislikes sports and PE is her most hated period, especially when it involves running the dreaded 2.4km. She claims that she passes her NAPFA only through sheer will power, as failing the 2.4km run means you'll have to do it again.
Lesley-Anne has another handicap and that is, she's petite. Very petite. This
means that the only sports she is any good at are table tennis (because it's played on a small table) and floorball (because
the ball is on the ground). Any sport that involves the ball flying
through the air is a dead sport to her. Netball. Volleyball. Basketball.
Captain's ball. To add to the challenge, she's sometimes assigned as a defender
against a tall, sporty guy. She said despairingly, "What do they
expect me to do? Tickle him?" Game over.
During one PE session, the class had to play
frisbee. A friend called out to Lesley-Anne to pass him the frisbee. Instead of
throwing it, she WALKED over and handed him the frisbee. Her
reasoning? "If I'd thrown it, it would have flown somewhere else."
If it's any consolation, being in a humanities class means she's in good company. Many of her classmates veer towards the performing arts and more creative activities, meaning that apart from the handful of sports kids, the rest of them can't run/jump/catch a ball to save their lives. From what Lesley-Anne tells me, PE is often a comedy of errors, with kids tripping over their own two feet, throwing balls backwards or hurling balls randomly to the wrong teammate. When the school organised a cross-country run, the class groaned. Then on the day of
the run, it rained so heavily it flooded and the run had to be postponed. A classmate mused, "I
think we prayed too hard for rain."
They say dancers have good hand-eye coordination but this doesn't seem to bear out in sports. Lesley-Anne's class has three dancers (her included) and regardless of gender, keeping the ball in play remains an elusive dream for them. During a PE lesson, a volleyball match was arranged and before the game, the teacher announced that the losing team would have to do pushups. The hapless members in Lesley-Anne's team looked at each other and asked the teacher, "Can we just do the pushups now?"
Lesley-Anne's sports anecdotes sometimes make me laugh until I cry. So maybe that's the silver lining - even though sports is not fun for her, at least it's funny (for me).