Sydney schoolkids face handstand ban

By Paul Harper

Don't even think about doing this at Drummoyne Public School in Sydney. Photo / Thinkstock
Don't even think about doing this at Drummoyne Public School in Sydney. Photo / Thinkstock

Children at a Sydney primary school have been banned from doing handstands and cartwheels - unless under the supervision of a trained gymnastics teacher.

Parents of children at Drummoyne Public School have slammed the ban as "ridiculous" and are petitioning to have the handstand ban overturned.

In a newsletter sent to parents and caregivers, school principal Gail Charlier said the new rules follow consultations with the New South Wales Education Department's state schools sports unit, the Sydney Daily Telegraph reported.

The ban means children at the school could only perform handstands and cartwheels "under the supervision of a trained gymnastics teacher and with correct equipment. These activities therefore cannot be condoned during lesson breaks."

A Education Department spokesperson told the Daily Telegraph the ban was to prevent playground injuries, rather than in response to incidents.

The spokesperson said each schools' playground rules are set by each school and there is "no departmental ban on unstructured play activities like cartwheels or handstands".

A spokesperson for the NSW Federation of Parents and Citizens Association described the ban as extreme.

"Parents always have concerns about the safety of their children but they don't want their children wrapped in cotton wool," she told the Daily Telegraph.

One Drummoyne parent, Rebecca Chown, has collected more than 250 signatures to have the "ridiculous" ban overturned, however NSW Primary Principals Association president Jim Cooper told the Daily Telegraph "... there's a group of parents who, if a child has a little accident, they hold the school to answer".

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