Broxtowe MP Anna Soubry held a debate in Parliament on behalf of 16 year-old speed skater Kyle Ross-Waddell.
Kyle, who attends Bramcote School, has been told he cannot study Speed Skating for his GCSE PE despite being identified as a potential Olympian. He is one of only fifteen 15-18 year olds training at the GB Short Track Speed Skating Academy. Kyle commits 6 days a week to training but because speed skating has been removed from the accepted sports list, Kyle has been forced to study other sports.
Anna called on the Department for Education to review the decision to remove speed skating and other Olympic sports from the accepted activities list.
Anna said: “I’ve had testimony from a number of people, notably Andy Baldwin, who is a long-standing PE teacher of great experience…he explains that this system is simply unfair.” Anna went on to say: “Youngsters across the whole of England will be seriously discriminated against because of an arbitrary list… sports such as judo, in which this country has done so well at the Olympics, have been taken off the list. That cannot be right”.
Robert Goodwill MP, Minister for School Sports, responded to say that the decision could not be immediately overturned. He said PE teachers did not possess the specific expertise required to assess “unusual” activities. He said a full review of the accepted sports list would take place in 2018.
Following the debate Anna said: “I am disappointed the Government will not take action now to help Kyle and other youngsters. I will now write to all Olympic sports’ governing bodies to ensure we have the strongest possible representations in the next review and to make sure all Olympic sports are back on the list for GCSE PE”.