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What were your experiences like in your Physical Education classes. What was your teachers like and what was your PE Uniform at Primary and secondary.

Did you enjoy the subject and were the facilities good.
Did you do your lessons in Barefeet or Trainers and did you decide and not me made to by the teacher?
I love my PE classes and teachers are very encouraging. We have one main gym or the main assembly hall to use if we are doing anything outside and it rains suddenly.
For primary school it was white skirt or shorts and top. I usually wore plimsoles unless I forgot then it was barefoot.
At secondary we have shorts and school polo top.
Since I was 13 I get blisters on my heels ( must have soft feet) and have tried plasters and two pairs of socks but still sore so I got told to do it in my barefeet.
I did try socks but but they were too slippy so been doing it barefoot for a few years now.
We get to do hockey or tennis outside and the boys do football or running so it's a good choice.
@GentleLucille It's still the same, I have to go from changing room to PE hall in barefeet and it's freezing in Winter season
GentleLucille · 26-30, F
@happygoluckygal What sort of stuff do you do in PE in the winter?
@GentleLucille Just normal, some running, skipping.
Tic tac toe game. And pickleball lately, which is a bit like mini tennis.
We sometimes do circuits
Nothing to do so much with the PE class but just over a year ago we were doing PE class and the fire alarm went off so all had to swiftly make our way to the corner of the playground for around 20 minutes till a check was undertaken. Thankfully it wasn't too cold.
I heard later it was the dinner ladies in the kitchen😄
GentleLucille · 26-30, F
@happygoluckygal A bit of sunshine and you could pretend to be at the beach 🙂
samueltyler2 · 80-89, M
@GentleLucille lucky you had that on, imagine if you were in swimming and you swam nude!
@GentleLucille That would be good doing PE at the beach
ArishMell · 70-79, M
I didn't greatly enjoy it because I was not very good at it, particularly more so the Games than formal PE exercises. I was not interested in football, still am not, and my co-ordination for any sports was poor!

In Primary School we used the school's own asphalt playground and adjacent, small grass field for PE, though the boys of the two upper Years would troop to pitches on a public playing-field about half a mile away, for football. At first we had to change there as best we could in the shelter of a scrawny hedge, but later the school built a basic but adequate changing-hut in the adjoining grounds of a Secondary Modern School.


Very different in my Senior School.

The facilities there were very good: properly equipped gymnasia (two of them as it was a large school with something like 1100 pupils) and extensive sports field with running-track, cricket, football and rugby pitches. This was not some costly public school either, but a Local Education Authority-run, mixed, Grammar in the State education system.

Neither bare feet nor "trainers". We all wore plimsolls. If training-shoes did exist in the mid-1960s they would have been properly-made sports footwear, mainly I think for the professionals due to cost.

The rest of the uniform, for boys:

- White T-shirt / sports-short top, white cotton-twill shorts, white ankle-socks for PE;
- Blue football shorts and a sweatshirt in your "house" colour for football and rugby-football.

For cricket and volleyball in the Summer term, I think we played in our ordinary class uniform of black trousers and white shirt, tie off; and shoes replaced by plimsolls.

The girls wore navy-blue and white for their PE and Games (hockey and netball).

Though all classes, averaging 30 pupils each, were mixed they segregated us for PE and Games, and combined two forms so there would still be about 30 boys or girls per session.
Boyinbarefeet · 61-69, M
@ArishMell Hi, what happened if you as a lad forgot your plimsolls? I hated the black things, they had a funny smell. I preferred to be barefoot for everything and my pupils now choose and most choose barefeet, if not all. I teach PE in my barefeet and explain the benefits. I also sent a note home to all pupils to explain this.
ArishMell · 70-79, M
@Boyinbarefeet A good question! I really can't remember.

People tended to forget their entire kit rather than just the shoes; but it seemed to happen very rarely. I vaguely recall one boy doing that, being sent round the sports field to pick up any rubbish, though.

I had no idea about anyone anywhere doing PE in bare-feet, certainly past the "Music & Movement"* activities stage I recall dimly from Infants' School, until I saw discussions on it on this forum.

Similarly with the no-underwear rule I thought simply local, as my Grammar School did not move into its bright shiny new buildings until early in my Second Year there. I assumed it just a way of dealing with the old building's inadequate changing room, by ensuring you had dry clothes to change back into. At least it was indoors, unlike the junior school football field's hedge!

Somewhere I have a handbook on lightweight walking and camping, and it contains advice on toughening and exercising the feet in the preceding weeks and months by being barefoot as much as possible, even if only around the house and garden.


*For those unfamiliar with the title [i]Music & Movement[/i], it was a weekly or daily programme of simple, slightly balletic, exercises to music and instructions. Since this was the late-50s / early-60s for my time, probably spoken in a fruity, Joyce Grenfell-esque RP accent! I think they often used some theme like pretending to be a sprouting flower, to make them fun. It was aimed at Infants' Schools, and part of BBC Radio's excellent Schools Service broadcasts generally.
iamnikki · 31-35, F
5th grade gym class was the most memorable for me. Loved gym class. Still remember my gym teachers. Still remember some of the exercises and how we counted them. As I type, I'm remembering flag football, and rolling around on those seated scooters. Loved dodgeball. I remember we had a kid who was really good at throwing. He would purposely hit us girls real hard with the (soft) ball 🤣 even cleaning up the gym stuff was fun.
Edit. I only took one PE, athletic class in high school. I remember being outdoors and walking on the tracks, chatting with the other girls. I remember lifting weights. I actually had a 4 pack back then.
I also loved the PE class I took in college. The prof was great and super funny. We got to play volleyball the gym and run outside.
I can remember we were in the chapter of health and STDs. I'll never forget him saying " if you ever decide to be careless and catch an STD, Chlamydia is the one to get. It's 100% curable with oral antibiotics!".
Student: have you ever had Chlamydia?
Prof: big smile
I'll end here 😆
gheloveg · 61-69
[b]OK this one is horrifying, especially for you gen z ers. As a teenager we were required to swim nude, in the school's pool. I grew up in the 60-70's. [/b]

It was not uncommon for public schools to have the boys swim nude during PE swim class. Hower, I do recall swim class being an elective class. And as boys, back in those days, we thought nothing of it.

I recall the reasoning being that some kids could not afford proper trunks and it was too cumbersome to determine what was,[i] via construction and materials[/i], acceptable swimwear. It was said that fibers would get caught up in the pool filters and cause significant damage.

For years I have told this story to a few ,[b][u]only [/u][/b]because, although I am from major city, we did have the reputation as being unsophisticated,backwoods and country. And, those few I did mention it to seemed highly suspicious towards the tale, so I just forgot about and haven't told a soul since the 80's. Now, many decades later,[i] I was even beginning to question myself as to if this was a false or exaggerated memory.[/i]

I came across the commenter's posed question,just by random but ,[b][i]before even constructing this reply; I decided to search it ou[/i][/b]t. Believe me, there are some ignorant trolls on 'Similar Worlds's, in the same fashion as they run amuck on [i](snarky youth-dominated)[/i] Reddit. I already have had previous experiences with buffoonish comments towards my posting of unusual yet true events. So I took a long shot and did a internet search and I indeed found others, [i]on other sites[/i], posting similar experiences in their gym classes.

However, now living in an age where much of the hidden past has been revealed, I wonder; as boys we thought nothing of but, what about those gym teachers (LOL -...I think ? ...yikes !)
helenS · 36-40, F
@gheloveg I grew up in the 1980s and early 1990s, and all boys used to swim naked in our lake until they were 13 or 14 or so. Modesty was for girls. A boy with feelings of embarrassment or shame would have made an ass of himself. Yes there was definitely a double standard. But at least we learned about boys' anatomy early on 😏
Boyinbarefeet · 61-69, M
@helenS When you did PE indoors did the girls or lads go in Barefeet, shorts and no top or did you enjoy it. Thanks.
helenS · 36-40, F
@Boyinbarefeet The girls wore ballet slippers, shorts and a top, all provided by the school. Can't remember about the boys.
Welcome to SW, by the way! Hope you'll enjoy your stay aboard the mothership...
🌷 <== your personal welcome tulip
Dv8rs · 18-21, F
We would dress down into school shorts, and a top, and the PE teacher would lead us to the track to run. I would always come in last, because I was lazy, and hated running. Then one day, I figured out that if I ran faster that I would be finished faster. So I started leading the pack, and I would finish first, by at least a lap. I began to actually like running, and continued to run after I graduated. I loved the high, and the tone that running gave my legs, and lungs.
Dv8rs · 18-21, F
MartinTheFirst, ha, ha, ha, today I came in first, #1. You #2. Better change your name to MartinTheSecond.
Ross19 · 31-35, M
For most of my school life I enjoyed PE I wasn't really good in team sports but i tried my best.

Primary school PE was done in the main hall in a pair of shorts only with bare feet. In the summer we sometimes went outside on the playing field abd we were allowed a t shirt.

Middle school PE indoors was t shirt and shorts with bare feet. The facilities weren't that great since PE was once again done in the hall. We slso had a weekly double period games lesson which was for outdoor activities like football, athletics or cross country

High school saw a big improvement in the PE facilities we had two gyms, two sports halls, tennis courts and an all weather pitch. The kit was shirt and shorts with trainers or barefoot optional. Since i had previously done all pe barefoot i continued this at high school
Boyinbarefeet · 61-69, M
@Ross19 Thanks ross. I didn't see this before I wrote the other. Did many in High School go barefoot. It is much faster, better grip, and enjoyable as you went. Thanks ross.
Ross19 · 31-35, M
@Boyinbarefeet Hi, in high school I'd say it was probably 50/50 split between bare feet and trainers. There were occasions when everyone was barefoot for gymnastics and dance
QuietSophie · 26-30, F
I loved PE throughout my school days and my teachers were nice. In primary school we used the assembly hall and we did it on T-shirt, shorts and bare feet. In secindary school we had red polo shirts embroidered with the school crest and blue shorts. We wore trainers for badminton, volleyball, unihok and softball. For gymnastics and dance we went barefoot.
Hayleywg · 46-50, F
Loved p e, mainly gymnastics, netball and hockey.
DearAmbellina2113 · 41-45, F
I hated P.E.

Not because I wasn't active as a kid- at home I bicycled, jogged, and swam every single day. But I hated P.E. because our coach always made us play team sports and I am just not sporty at all. So my classmates would bully me, which sucked.
We only had to wear shorts and t shirt. one thing I do remember was that I always got my ass grabbed while playing sports.
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Adec757 · 51-55, M
Indoor p e kit at secondary was white shorts with no tee shirt and bare feet. Outdoor p e was socks, shorts and school colours too, with appropriate footwear.
Adogslife · 61-69, M
In elementary school we played games like kick ball, dodge ball and softball.

Middle school started with sports more akin to high school, like basketball, wrestling, soccer, baseball and a bit of track.

Once you were in high school, if you were on a sports team that season, you were exempt from gym class. So, I rarely had gym in high school. It’d be scheduled as a class, but they automatically gave you an “A” and you didn’t even have to show up.
Thevy29 · 41-45, M
We didn't have uniforms. And the Primary school PE teacher liked boys way too much.
BackyardShaman · 61-69, M
We had black shorts and a t shirt from what I remember, I hated it and only learned which guys were bullies and which weren’t.
BackyardShaman · 61-69, M
@Boyinbarefeet yeah barefoot out of the locker/shower room out to the basketball court and bleachers area. Me and my friends knew who to avoid both in the locker room and the showers. I saw a guy get anally raped in the locker room once, not a pleasant experience at all.
Boyinbarefeet · 61-69, M
@BackyardShaman I experienced this and there was a lad who raped me three times, a nightmare and teachers not in sight. Was the basketball court outdoors or indoors and had you good floors to enjoy barefoot PE. Did your mates go barefoot to give you support or did the whole class have to go in their barefeet as school policy. When you are at home would this have started you going barefoot about the house and gardens. Sorry to hear you were bullied. I can conclude 'I Hated school, being barefoot in PE was the only consolation for me, the Boyinbarefeet.
BackyardShaman · 61-69, M
@Boyinbarefeet I’m sorry you were raped, our basketball court was inside and we all went barefoot out of the locker room to the court and bleachers area. The floor was rough concrete, I remember them being very strict about single file, quiet in line, etc. the basketball court was very nice wooden floors. What was scary was the locker room. I had a very round ass so I had to be careful when changing in there and it got grabbed a few times but I got away. There was a long bench in between 2 rows of lockers where we would change into gym clothes and where we stripped to take our showers. The boy I saw get raped dropped his shorts on the floor while getting ready for the shower and had no underwear on. There was a big guy close to him that was also naked and when the guy bent over to pick up his shorts he mounted him and rammed his big one up him. The guy screamed loudly and he pulled out, coach didn’t pursue it.
exexec · 61-69, C
We had Phys. Ed. classes from grades 7 through 12, and coaches were the teachers. I was an athlete, playing football, basketball, baseball, and track, so all the coaches knew me and knew that I really didn't need what they taught in PE. No uniforms, just provide your own shorts, shirt, and shoes.
Royrogers · 61-69, M
I really cannot claim to have learnt that much about the maintenance of physical health when I was at school. We had to do long runs. We had to do gym work. Once a year there was would outside of the school be called field. And track competition but there were no preparations for it as I recall
GerOttman · 61-69, M
high school 14-17, 4 days a week religion on fridays. not gifted or exceptional, didn't go out for a team. like most of the rest of it, did what I had to do to the barest minimum. didn't care one way or the other.

(edit) we had an issued uniform top and shorts.
Gym was always my favorite subject. I love trampoline, parachute, disco and ballroom dancing, ballet, track and field, softball and swimming. Basketball sucks because the ball is too dangerous and same for baseball and lacrosse.
caPnAhab · 26-30, M
If ever I had the choice between basketball and ping pong, I'd take ping pong .

Or I could walk laps with my friends, as they would choose the same thing. Laps and ping pong, that's all it ever was
hippyjoe1955 · 61-69, M
Must have been rather unspectacular as I can't remember one of them. I liked playing baseball but we didn't play baseball in phy ed.
DavidT8899 · 22-25, M
In middle school,I had to do P.E in bare feet for two weeks,and an embarrassing situation came out of it.
Sam17 · 16-17, M
We train in tops shorts and runners
Boyinbarefeet · 61-69, M
@Sam17 if you did not want to wear runners would they allow you go barefoot. I suppose the same if you forgot runners. Did this often occur. Thanks
Sam17 · 16-17, M
@Boyinbarefeet we mostly play football so runners are the nirn
Royrogers · 61-69, M
I don’t recall the school being strict about what you wore for PT
This message was deleted by its author.
Boyinbarefeet · 61-69, M
@happygoluckygal Thanks for the message. I hope you didn't feel isolated and that more girls went likewise. In our boys only school before the majority now would go in barefeet, you would get 8 or 9 going, so no-one would feel out of it. When at school myself I went all the time barefoot, being my choice and my friends took to it as well and barefeet in PE became common and in our teaching classes, in the primary school allowed us to work at our desks barefoot and many boys and girls did. In Primary School our classes were mixed and as many girls went as boys. In your school did PE classes be mixed or was it a girls only school. In many high schools todays classes are mixed and many girls and boys go together in Barefeet and often have competitions between girls and boys. This is not possible in an all boys school but we went to an all girls school for some extra curriculum sports to have adequate numbers. my lads go in barefeet if they wish and likewise the girls schools. Thanks for your interest.
@Boyinbarefeet I still got another year at school so still doing PE. The classes are mostly mixed although we do a girls class as well. We do have races and competitions sometimes against the boys and in the girls class we can either do netball or softball tennis which I do as it's easier in barefeet.
I been doing PE in barefeet for 3 years now but don't really like it that way as sometimes I am the only one but it's better than getting blisters as they don't allow socks.
I think it's because the other girls in the changing room go down to the gym with footwear and I am always barefooted but once in the gym I often forget

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