Burton Is Introducing Snowboarding To Primary School P.E Lessons

Did you hate cross country and netball at school? These classes will change gym for good...

Photo courtesy of Jeff Boliba

Who wishes that they could have spent their P.E lessons in school learning how to snowboard?

The pain of weekly P.E is a feeling many active and sporty adults can relate to. Cold, rainy days spent outside in the school grounds playing netball or hockey and long runs around the track field, have left a particularly sour taste in the mouth for many of us.

At Cooler, we all found a love of sport later in life from discovering the many different sports outside of school. While we hated high jump and badminton, we now live for surfing, skating, climbing and snowboarding.

The fact that so many adults who love fitness once hated school gym lessons shows that educators need to broaden their view on exercise, luckily Burton Snowboards have taken a big step towards changing these lessons for good.

Starting in the US, the company has set up a new initiative to get snowboarding lessons into all P.E lessons and primary school gyms.

Photo courtesy of Jeff Boliba

Burton Snowboards have been up to some pretty cool stuff recently, from paying for their female employees to fly to the Women’s March On Washington, to working to raise the amount of women on the boards of sporting associations, they’re showing themselves to a brand that really wants to make a difference.

This particular initiative was thought up by Jeff Boliba, the vice president of global resorts for Burton, who got the idea from his eight year old son.

“He told me he remembered that when he was in elementary school — his school wouldn’t let him try snowboarding as part of the after school ski program” Boliba told GrindTv recently. “I thought, I can help you with that.”

The aim to allow any child to have access to snowboarding lessons regardless of geographical location however, is a harder task. To find a way around it, Boliba has designed indoor snowboards, able to slide across gymnasium floors.

“It took us a while trying to figure out a way to allow the boards to just glide across a gymnasium floor” he says “What we came up with was the Hover Cover, which is basically a Swiffer cover for the Riglet board.”

“Once we made that, we added a dual-pull handle to the front of the Riglet boards so that two students could team up to pull one of their friends across the gym.”

Photo courtesy of Jeff Boliba

Adding new and more interesting sports to the school curriculum will not only engage children in sport more than traditional sports, it could also change how they think about exercise through the rest of their life.

Bolina has now created an instructional manual for teachers to run the classes without the help of a snowboarding instructor and has also created an instructional video, featuring Kelly Clark and Danny Davis, on how to integrate it into a school’s curriculum.

An instant success, the classes have now been added to schools across the United States, with plans of going international. Let’s hope we see them in the UK soon!


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