Simplistic, marginalising and out-of-date

That is the description of Trevor Mallard’s and Labour’s sports policy by GLBT advocates:

Labour’s sports and recreation policy is being slammed by GLBT advocates for being simplistic, marginalising and out-of-date.

Launched earlier this month by the party’s sports and recreation spokesman Trevor Mallard, the policy aims to be “accessible to all New Zealanders”, but Mallard’s reported comments in The New Zealand Herald about compulsory participation in team sports “unless there are medical reasons” not to do so has GLBT youth advocates worried.

Even Kevin Hague agrees that Labour’s compulsory sports policy is bad:

“It works for maybe 20% of kids at most, and for others tends to turn them off activity generally, which they associate with organised sport,” says Hague.

“Queer kids experience this as yet another form of alienation – fitting everyone into a standardised package and requiring conformity, when what we need is a culture that celebrates and supports diversity and difference.

“I really like the idea of having some negotiated goals around fitness and physical capabilities and then developing a programme for each student to help achieve these. For some students that will result in sports teams, for others it will be yoga. This individually tailored approach is more like the style of education we want to see implemented.”

Charles Chauvel, not exactly best speciman of humanity in the fitness stakes, says:

…the country is in the middle of an obesity epidemic. “This isn’t about shoving people into rugby jerseys and onto the field against their will. If there are youngsters who want to do synchronised swimming, then we should welcome that with open arms. The whole purpose of the policy is to facilitate physical activity, preferably in a group setting.”

Schools “should be doing everything in their power to combat homophobic bullying” but “that’s not inconsistent with encouraging people to be active.”
Chauvel says the policy is supported by all of Rainbow Labour’s MPs because “there is a need to support kids to be active in a gentle, affirming way”.

Things are pretty dire for Labour if the GLBT community that you previously banked on for support is flipping the proverbial bird at your policies.


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

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