The days of the dreaded compulsory school cross country may be limited.

Canterbury's Halswell Primary School has been the first to scrap the compulsory event from the calendar claiming it has a negative impact on children's wellbeing.

School Principal Bruce Topham told Mike Hosking while many children choose to compete, forcing the rest to do something they don't want to do, doesn't achieve anything.

"We don't ask all the children to swim 200 metres. We want children to be lifelong participants in physical activity, and if they are having experiences that are making them feel vulnerable, that's not a healthy thing to be doing."

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LISTEN TO BRUCE TOPHAM TALK WITH MIKE HOSKING ABOVE