Cheerleading and yoga on rise in PE
Cheerleading, yoga and boxing are on the rise in PE lessons as schools offer pupils alternatives to traditional sports, research suggests.
The activities are increasing in popularity in England's schools, while team games such as hockey and netball, as well as individual disciplines such as gymnastics may have started to lose their appeal.
At the same time, more than six in 10 pupils are now not regularly taking part in competitive sports within school, while almost eight in 10 do not regularly compete against other schools.
The annual study, commissioned by the former Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) looked at participation in PE and sport in all schools across England in 2009/10.
It reveals that nearly two in five schools (37%) now offer cheerleading as a sport, up from nearly a third (32%) in 2008/09, while more than a fifth (22%) are laying on yoga classes, compared to 21% a year ago.
Some 22% of schools now provide trampolining lessons, up from 21% a year ago, while 18% offer classes in circus skills - the same proportion as last year (2008/09).
These activities have only been included in the survey for the last two years.
The survey also reveals a massive increase in the numbers of schools offering boxing - 10% this year up from just 1% in 2003/04. Some 13% are offering judo, compared to 8% in 2003/04, while 15% offer martial arts, compared to 4% six years ago.
Mountaineering is also increasing in popularity, with 14% offering it this year, double the number of six years ago.
At the same time, the survey shows small drops in the proportion of schools offering more traditional games.