It's Monday, and first period is P.E. Typical. How many of these sports hall horrors do you remember?


Apparently, a whopping two thirds of girls, aged 8, don’t do enough exercise.

Shocking? Or a representation of classic school life?

Turns out, kids and adults alike should be exercising for at least 60 minutes a day, and only 35% of girls are doing so – compared with 62% of boys.

Experts fear the techno-age is taking over the will to compete in sports, or go for a brisk jog. But with the dreaded school changing rooms, and competitiveness of the popular kids, who can blame them.

How many of these sports hall horrors do you remember?


1. These


What were they? Sand shoes? Plimsolls? For some reason, every school loved them. No, you couldn’t just exercise in any old trainers. They had to be black, and squeaky. Anyone else getting blisters just thinking about them?

2. The P.E. kit…


Too-tight white polo shirts and horrifically baggy black tracksuit bottoms, that were probably your older sibling’s. Mum refused to buy you any more when you turned 15, so you’re wearing a 12-13 age top. Some schools had their own badge on their tops, where you had a grey-boxy number.

3. ..and forgetting your P.E. kit


Your mum reminded you, she even packed it up for you in your Jane Norman bag, or a Morrison’s carrier. But you still forget. Do you borrow your friend’s? Rifle through lost property? Or feign cramp…

4. The bleep test.


…Bleep…Bleep…Bleep… That sound still gives you nightmares. That monotonous running across the hall, the boys racing to impress the girls. It starts off running 20m in one minute, then gets faster. And faster. You and your friend made a pact to drop out at the same time to avoid embarrassment. What level did you get to?

5. Body spray


Why didn’t you just use deodorant? For some reason the boy’s would immerse themselves in Lynx Africa, and the girls in So? or Impulse. Everyone smelled great BEFORE sports, but after…

6. Showers


They NEVER worked. Ever. So you’d be sweating all day. Suddenly, in Physics after lunch you’d catch a whiff of that morning’s badminton and cringe as your crush definitely saw you sniff your pit. Then comes the shame, can everyone else smell you? If, miraculously, the showers did work – they’d be communal ones. And everyone was too embarrassed to use them.

7. The changing room dance


You’d never be fully naked in front of anyone, not even your friends. So you had a changing room dance routine perfectly choreographed. You kept your t-shirt on, with the arms out, wriggle it over your head, with the other one protecting your modesty.

8. The popular kids


They were always naked, comparing bras or towel whipping. If they shouted ‘I’m naked!’ and you looked, you’d get grief for spying on them. Then the whole school would know. They’d be well into puberty, too. Toned and curvy. You on the other hand, that puppy fat never really went, did it?

9. The knicker twist


If you were lucky enough to have a swimming pool, or regular lessons, you probably went to a good school. But there, everyone knew the knicker twist. You put your swimming cossie on, over your undies. Then, wriggling one leg of your undies out, down and over your knee, then toes. And the same with the other. Voila! Houdini in the house.

10. Getting hit in the face with a rounders ball


Need we say more? It hurt. So much *wipes away tear*

11. Being made the bowler


You hated it. Your swing was limp and you could see all your friends being ‘fielders’ and chatting away.  Sigh, life was hard to you.

12. Picking teams

It was awful. All the popular kids went first, and the pretty ones, then the sporty ones, then the semi-popular kids, then… you. It was worse when the teacher separated you from your friends, too.

13. Sports day


Some sick person one day thought it would be a great idea to round up the whole school, all of your teachers, AND your parents to watch YOU run 400m! You never won, it was the taking part that counted in the end…

14. This


Why not end on a high. When you saw the parachute being taken out of the equipment cupboard your heart leapt. You spent an hour whipping it into the air and running in the middle of it. You quickly sat on it and played Chinese whispers, and Duck Duck Goose.

Wasn’t it great being a kid sometimes?