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Were you popular and sporty in school?

(131 Posts)
biglouis Tue 12-Apr-22 01:07:46

I was a swotty kid and hated sport. There were other subjects I did not particularly enjoy (maths, science. housecraft) but was around the middle of the bunch in my class. I was always slow and clumsy at sport.

I especially hated the way the two most sporty girls were named team captains and had to pick their teams turn and turn about.

Yes - I was always the one left standing at the end.

In contrast my sister was good at sport but not academic. Her life was made difficult because she was not top of the class.

When I was 14 the following conversation took place:-

Sports teacher: your not interested in sport are you Biglouis?

Me: No miss, Im not good at it and I dont see the point

Sports teacher: You cant go through life ignoring the things you dont like Biglouis

Me: Look Miss, Im top of the class in 5 academic subjects and its those I will be putting down on the application forms when I look for a job. Im going to be going into the civil servise or one of the professions. Im not looking for a job as a sports teacher,

Sports teacher: youve got an answer for everything Biglouis. Your a cheeky girl.

Me: no miss, you asked me a question and I answered you.

In spite of being top of the class and always representing my house in various competitions (and mostly winning) I was never chosen as a prefect. I suspect that not being "popular and sporty" had something to do with that.

glammanana Tue 12-Apr-22 09:57:51

I enjoyed netball and played for the school team for 2 yrs when going to away matches it meant finishing school an hour earlier so we could travel by mini bus to the school we where playing.
I wasn't over popular really but had a small circle of friends who stayed together as friends until we left school one of those friends I still see on occasions.

NotTooOld Tue 12-Apr-22 10:04:35

I was quiet and introverted at school and kept well under the radar. In fact, I don't think anyone noticed me much at all. We only plated netball in the summer and I didn't mind that although not particularly good at it. In the winter we only played hockey which I absolutely hated, partly because I was asthmatic. At age 25 I discovered badminton which I absolutely loved and at 78 I am still playing it.

timetogo2016 Tue 12-Apr-22 10:07:49

Not really to both.
I hated school even though i got on well with most of my teachers,and i disliked sports but i was always picked for running every sports day.
I left with 5 o-levels so i must have been a little academic.

henetha Tue 12-Apr-22 10:07:57

No. Not popular and definitely not sporty. But I did make one or two friendships which lasted well after I left school.

GagaJo Tue 12-Apr-22 10:08:09

I was a total failure at school, due to a chaotic home life. Although I was clever I chose to truant. I tormented my PE teachers and was a pain in the a**e.

Did all my learning as an adult when my life was more stable (although impoverished).

Yammy Tue 12-Apr-22 10:16:47

I wasn't particularly sporty. I could play hockey and sprint and hurdle and long jump, in the gym, I just froze and never did climb a rope. None of my friends was particularly sporty either.
Reasonable academically and went into further Ed. with A levels.
Not many of our teachers were local at the Grammar School and looked down on children from a particular town. Funny really because that's where most of the prefects and head boys and girls came from.
I kept my head down and out of trouble until in the fifth year I was called a" miners brat", by a certain master. It was a Red rag to a bull. For the first time in my life, I defended myself. I told him that my father wasn't a miner and neither were my grandfathers.
I never had a proper boyfriend who went to the same school I kept mine secret.
I look back and think I did enjoy school as I was with a lot of very friendly people. I',m still in touch with someone I met on my first day.

Elusivebutterfly Tue 12-Apr-22 10:17:22

I was quiet at school but good academically, near the top for all written subjects.
I hated sport and am quite unco-ordinated. I always felt awful when girls were picked for teams as I knew I would be standing there until the last couple chosen.
I also hated art as could not draw well and my pictures were never chosen to go on the wall.
It did seem as if the fact that I could do academic subjects well did not count much compared with physical abilities.

GrannyGravy13 Tue 12-Apr-22 10:22:38

My asthma was severe and not controlled until I was in my late twenties so sport was never on my horizon.

M0nica Tue 12-Apr-22 10:30:29

No and no. As I now know I am dyspraxic and anything that required physical coordination or hand to eye co-ordination, practically, every sport known to humankind, was a non starter for me, although I did manage to be a reasonable good, if slightly erratic, discus thrower.

As for popularity, I was universally considered to be 'odd'. Fortunately I found another oddball to bond with, and we are friends to this day.

Chewbacca Tue 12-Apr-22 10:51:30

I was rubbish at anything sporty, and avoided it as much as possible, but was fairly good at the arts and languages subjects and so was involved in school projects and exhibitions. It was quite a large school and, looking back, I think we formed ourselves into our own little interest groups, a few of whom I'm still in touch with.

Luckygirl3 Tue 12-Apr-22 11:07:29

One of the purposes of school, it seems to me, is to teach us that life is not fair!!

I HATED sport with every fibre of my being - I am very short-sighted and my balance has always been a problem. Every sports lesson was a total misery. The only time I was in a team was when I was picked to be in the netball team, as I had had a massive growth spurt and was about a foot taller than everyone else - I used to just stand there and drop the ball in the net - none of this running about lark.

So to second purpose of school for me - to learn ingenuity in finding ways of getting out of sport - I was very good at it. But it was very important to remember which teacher you had told your Grandmother had died, so that she did not die twice!

Luckygirl3 Tue 12-Apr-22 11:09:07

Oh, and by the way, when I was made a prefect the headmaster told me he was "setting a thief to catch a thief" - nice!

DerbyshireLass Tue 12-Apr-22 12:47:39


I was a total failure at school, due to a chaotic home life. Although I was clever I chose to truant. I tormented my PE teachers and was a pain in the a**e.

Did all my learning as an adult when my life was more stable (although impoverished).

think you must be my twin...❤️?

I was always the square peg that didn't fit into the round hole.

Definitely not sporty but for some obscure reason I was popular. Although lord knows why because I always felt like a fish out of water. Despite being smart enough my school days were pretty lacklustre and are best glossed over.

I went to a convent. I loathed it and played truant a lot. I very quickly decided I was an atheist and had no time for religion. This baffled the nuns. I don't think they knew what to do about me, there was just no way I would change my mind and be brought back into the fold. But they were stuck with me. I felt sorry for them,

I pretty much went my own way and they more or less left me to my own devices. When I did deign to show up for lessons I didn't really engage and would just sit at the back of the class quietly day dreaming, reading or sketching or writing awful poetry.

Apparently I had a good voice and was a bit of an asset to the choir. Maybe that's why they put up with

I wasnt disruptive or naughty, just disinterested. . Looking back I think I was just bored. Catholic school just wasn't the right fit.

What I didn't realise at the time and didn't find out until later was the teachers did actually like me and in a funny way admired my rebellious spirit. Not that I was naughty or a trouble maker. I wasn't. My rebellion for what it was was just passive resistance, quietly getting on with my life and ignoring the critics and naysayers.

I had plenty of friends with whom I was always happy to pass the time of day. No enemies. There were a few girls who I hung out with from time to time and had the usual giggles with but no specula or best friend. I never got close to anyone.

When I found out in later years that I was universally liked you could have knocked me down with a feather. Apparently I was pretty much regarded by everyone, teachers and peers alike, as being "rather clever" and something of an eccentric intellectual who they held in awe. . ??. Not that I knew any of that at the time. I was quite astonished when I found out what they had really thought about me. I had just assumed I was a right royal pain in the derrière and that I was pretty much disliked by the teaching staff and was I was merely tolerated by my my classmates

I think I was just those people who is self contained and who just marches to the beat of their own drum. Im not on the autism spectrum, I just preferred to do things in my own way, in my own time. I wouldn't conform and made no attempt to "fit in". Yes I was strong willed and headstrong but I was always polite and charming, I had a few canings for not complying but it made no difference so in the end they gave up and left me alone.

The only teacher who made any headway with me was an English teacher, who wasn't a nun but a lay teacher, I think she recognised a kindred spirit and felt sorry for me. I think I became her project. She was definitely an eccentric, very theatrical and flamboyant. A spinster and a real character. She reminded me of Miss Jean Brodie. . She took me under her wing, quietly directing my reading, lending me books from her own personal collection. None of the books she recommended were on the school curriculum but I devoured them.

She fed my imagination and she did me a great service by showing me that I could educate myself, wherever I was. I didn't need a school building to learn. She gave me the tools for lifelong learning.

I realise now that I was a classic "late bloomer" and that school, certainly not a Catholic school, just wasn't really the environment in which I could flourish.

I got there in the end, becoming a mature student and going to university when I was 40.

M0nica Tue 12-Apr-22 14:22:44

Luckygirl I too became inventive in avoiding sport. I also learn how to be subversive, obeying the rules but in such a way that I made them look stupid.

JaneJudge Tue 12-Apr-22 14:25:56

I was quite athletic but I have never craved to be popular. I like being on my own

BigBertha1 Tue 12-Apr-22 14:29:25

I was a little bit sporty - hockey, netball, rounders hopeless at gym, hated water so couldn't swim and pretty duff at athletics - too fat to run. I was middling at academic work- mostly lazy and distracted. Not popular - council house girl at nice grammar school.

Now at pushing 70 I have several degrees and had a good professional career, play a good round of social golf and run Walking Netball groups. I get on with most people. So not quite the failure I was told I would be because I wasn't sporty or popular.

FarNorth Tue 12-Apr-22 14:34:11

I was usually one of the last picked for sports teams but I didn't care.

Curlywhirly Tue 12-Apr-22 14:38:13

I was no good at sport (too small and not fast enough). Was definitely on of the 'in crowd' though - me and my friend (still my best friend now) were the first to go to discos and have boyfriends and we thought our social lives were far more important than school! Having said that, we were surprisingly conscientious in our school work and did reasonably well in exams.

silverlining48 Tue 12-Apr-22 14:40:29

No to both but still in touch with some friends from both junior and secondary school.
I avoided sport and games as much as possible result was never being chosen fir a team. Left standing, feeling foolish.
I used to crouch on the toilets as the teachers always looked under the doors.
Regret of course now, but took up walking at 50 which I love and now miss. Look firward to being able to start again once i get a shiny new hip tomorrow! Hooray.

Grandmabatty Tue 12-Apr-22 14:43:28

I was neither sporty nor particularly popular. I had a small group of friends which lasted til I left school. My closest friends were part of the drama group I attended out of school. I wasn't made a prefect and it didn't bother me. I grew out of school and should have left after my highers. The extra curricular activities were what kept me there. Drama, choir and the school magazine.

Grantanow Tue 12-Apr-22 14:58:23

No but some of those who were finished up in dead end jobs.

M0nica Tue 12-Apr-22 16:05:17

I am amazed how many were picked on at school for their background. I never had a clue what type of house other children lived in or what their parents did or whether they were rich or poor, and I cannot remember it ever being a subject of discussion.

It was primarily a day school with a boarding house, which I was in, and yes, we did know then what people's parents did, because we were nearly all forces children who had passed the 11+ and had our boarding fees paid by the Ministry of Defence. Others had parents in the diplomatic service or who just had parents whose work took them abroad a lot. Hardly any of us had parents paying boarding fees.

Nannarose Tue 12-Apr-22 16:47:42

I went to a grammar school in a predominantly working class area. There were a few girls whose parents were doctors, teachers, or managers; but if they had tried to look down on the rest of us it would have been from a rather lonely place!

I do think though, that the greatest divide was those whose parents wanted them to 'get on' and those who just wanted them to leave school and start earning.

And I will also say that the teachers may have been a bit odd, but they didn't look down on us either. We were always treated with respect.

62Granny Tue 12-Apr-22 16:48:36

I enjoyed some sports but not others , I enjoyed hockey and netball and looking back I was middle of the road academically, I didn't seem to do well at exams although my class work was fine, so didn't get put up for O levels only CSE which I did get but to be honest I finished school on a Friday and started work on the Monday and have always worked since usually in office admin post. I do see some people who I was in school with and wonder how they got the jobs they did as they didn't seem any better than me in school.

LucyLocket55 Tue 12-Apr-22 17:47:08

I was at a boarding school which I loathed, very unhappy and unpopular and no good at sport. 7 lonely and miserable years of my life.