Kids’ balls bounced
Pupils can’t bring footies to school
A CROYDON school has upset some parents by banning pupils from playing with their own footballs and soccer balls.
A letter to parents from Dorset Primary School principal Palma Coppa said: “The school welfare team has dealt with a surge in sport-related injuries in the playground due to impacts with playing balls that are over-inflated and oversized. We have also noted a large increase in the number of balls brought from home.”
She said injuries included some fractures and mild concussions, and most related to balls striking children in the head and hands.
“In an effort to ensure safety of all of our children who play in the playground, we are providing children with the correctly sized playing balls from the school’s PE supplies and instructing them not to bring balls from home.”
She said: “We know some students will be disappointed with this decision; however, we must act to ensure the safety of our students.”
Jodie Del Monaco, of Kilsyth, who has three children at the school, was disappointed by the “extreme” decision.
“I’ve heard students are playing footy with a (schoolsupplied) volleyball,” she said.
She said her grade 4 son, 9, was distraught. “He’s really disheartened because he can’t play his favourite sports, like downball, any more.”
Ms Del Monaco said the ban would put a real strain on children. “Kids rely on their ball sports and if you take this away from them then it can lead to all sorts of problems.”
But another parent, who wished not be named, said she agreed with the school’s policy.
“The new policy has been working and it’s been great, as not as many students are getting injured,” she said.
After being approached for comment, the principal contacted parents to insist the ban was for a trial period only.
Ms Coppa said the school continued to encourage pupils to play sport. “We’ve had children suffer broken bones and head injuries from balls that are meant to be used by adults, and by providing balls at school it’s no longer necessary for students to bring in their own,” Ms Coppa said.
“Children will always be allowed to play ball games at our school. I’ll see how this approach is working in term 3.”
In 2015, the school overturned a 10-year ban on pupils riding their bikes to and from school, following protests.