Professors Anne Flintoff of Leeds Beckett University and Fiona Dowling from the Norwegian School of Sport Sciences were given £9,940 of British Taxpayers money and from this have concluded that PE classes are 'white-washed'. The 20-page report says the games were developed by 'white privileged males' in the Victorian era. They determine that football, rugby and cricket are all relics from the Empire and favour white students over those from ethnic backgrounds.
The report has been highly criticised however especially by Martin Offiah who is a former England rugby league international. Offiah was born in the diverse area of Hackney, London. He said : “I don’t think people of colour or working- class backgrounds would be put off playing rugby. I wasn’t at all. I think sports teaching in schools is okay. Things could be better obviously – in certain schools there is a more challenging environment.
There are more important things like textbooks, teaching someone to spell and count, they come at the top of the list. But I do think rugby has a lot to teach besides athletic prowess. Do I think that opportunities to become a rugby player should be open to a much wider group of people – yes, I genuinely think that. A lot of public schools use it because it teaches a lot of core values – being brave, courageous. I’d hazard to say there are not too many schools which are good at rugby but not good academically.”
The study of sports teaching in schools in England and Norway was called A Whitewashed Curriculum 'The Construction Of Race In Contemporary PE Curriculum Policy' and was published in the journal of Sport, Education And Society.