Physical and Health Education Canada discourages proposed cartwheel ban

As the debate over whether to ban cartwheels continues at a school in Callander, south of North Bay, a national physical education group is weighing in on the issue.

Proposed cartwheel ban is 'trying to solve an education problem with policy'

Brian Storey, president and CEO of Physical and Health Education Canada, says it's a physical literacy issue if children are hurting themselves doing cartwheels. (Getty Images/Don Mason)

As the debate over whether to ban cartwheels continues at a school in Callander, south of North Bay, a national physical education group is weighing in on the issue.

CBC News spoke with parent Stephanie Balen who started a petition in protest. She says she had a positive meeting with the principal of the school, but says the proposed policy will still be voted on by the student advisory council next month. The school board says the proposed ban is a safety issue.

Brian Storey, president and CEO of Physical and Health Education Canada, says it appears the school is trying to solve an education problem with policy.

"Specifically, the problem of how do children safely play and be educated to move their bodies in risky ways?" he said.

"We like all children in elementary school, particularly the primary grades, to be doing movement education, gymnastics-based activities where they're doing somersaults, and cartwheels and rolls."

If children can't turn themselves upside-down by the age of ten, Storey says it becomes harder to do sports or other physical activities later in life. 

"If children are hurting themselves doing cartwheels, it's a physical literacy issue. They're missing a physical competence component to their movement repertoire that just hasn't been developed yet."

A school in Callander, south of North Bay, is considering banning cartwheels on school property. What does Brian Storey, the head of Physical Health and Education Canada think of banning cartwheels? We asked him, and this is what he said... 4:20

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