(P1) Future generations of young people risk becoming “HOSTAGES to handheld devices” and DISENGAGED from physical activity, a sports charity says.

(P2) The Youth Sports Trust report suggests that nearly a quarter of children see playing computer games with friends as a form of physical activity.

(P3) The trust called for technology to be INTEGRATED with physical education (PE) in schools.

(P4) The government said it had given schools £300m to improve school sports, and PE was a PRIORITY.

(P5) The Leicestershire-based trust describes itself as an independent charity DEVOTED to changing young people’s lives through sports.

(P6) It commissioned a survey of children’s ATTITUDES to sports, as part of its report on the future of sports in schools.

(P7) This poll of 1,000 five- to 16-year olds suggested 75% of young people enjoy PE at school, and two-thirds feel better after TAKING PART IN sports.

(P8) But the SURVEY REVEALED the SCALE of the challenge from digital technology.

(P9) Some 23% of children said they viewed playing a computer game with a friend as a form of exercise.

(P10) And a third said they spoke to their friends more on social media than in person.

(P11) The report said “there is no resisting” the march of technology.

(P12) “Policy makers can feel nostalgic for a time before the challenges new connected technologies have brought in engaging young people, or they can HARNESS these technologies to their ADVANTAGE,” the report said.

(P13) “It will also become increasingly IMPERATIVE for every child to have ACCESS to new technology in school, and for greater efforts to be made to ENSURE that there is little difference among the tech CAPABILITIES of young people.

(P14) “FURTHERMORE, in order to get children active from a young age, a more HOLISTIC APPROACH to PE is needed, one which integrates technology and the delivery of a SEAMLESS, INTUITIVE and digitally ENHANCED form of physical activity.”

(P15) Children’s minister Edward Timpson said: “It is pleasing that the Youth Sport Trust’s research shows that millions of young people are enjoying PE lessons.

(P16) “We want to encourage all young people to get into the healthy habit of playing and enjoying sport – both inside and outside school – which is why PE remains a government priority.”

(P17) Ali Oliver, chief executive of the Youth Sports Trust, said: “The digital revolution presents opportunities and challenges with young people POTENTIAL hostages to their handheld devices.

(P18) “This report clearly SIGNALS that action is needed now to MODERNIZE the approach to PE and school sport and in doing so, GUARANTEE the best possible future for generations to come.”

WORDS: 444



If you found the passage difficult to read or had problems understanding specific words or idiomatic expressions, please discuss them with your tutor. The following discussion questions should be answered in your own words and with your own arguments.

  1. Briefly summarize the content of the article in your own words.
  2. Do you think that children today play as much physically as you did when you were a child?
  3. Did you enjoy physical education classes in school, or were they difficult for you?
  4. Do you consider yourself a “hostage” of your smartphone and other handheld devices?
  5. The Youth Sports Trust suggests integrating technology and physical activity. But how can this be done?


What do the following expressions mean? Practice using each expression in a sentence; extra points if you can use it in conversation.

  • Take part



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