Thursday, April 30, 2009

Gymnastics = Full time job?

Part 1
----> This is a documentary called Pursuing the Perfect Ten. It is mostly about the Parquette's training center and was made by CNN.

The Child labor law for the United States of America for 14-15 year olds is as follows:

"During the school year, hours are limited to 3 hours a day and 18 hours a week. On days when there's no school and in the summer, working hours increase to 8 hours a day and 40 hours a week. There are limits on when children can work, too - no later than 7 p.m. during the school year and no later than 9 p.m. between June 1 and Labor Day. Fourteen- and 15- year-olds may be employed in restaurants and quick-service establishments outside school hours in a variety of jobs for limited periods of time and under specified conditions" (source).

-Observation 1- Gymnastics is a full time job. For one 10 year old at the Parquette's Gym, practice is required 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week. As stated above the law for 14 to 15 year olds is that during the school year they are only allowed, by law, to work 3 hours a day and not after 7 p.m. All of the elite gymnasts at Parquette's Gym are home schooled or tutored and spend at least 4-5 hours a day training (probably more because the 10 year old who states this information is on the verge of becoming an elite but is still level 10). Also, it can be assumed that most gymnastics practices do not finish before 7 p.m. Most of these girls are under age 14 which makes it illegal for them to hold jobs during the school year at all.

-Should gymnastics be considered a job?
*It is physically and mentally straining.
*It takes up the majority of gymnasts' free time (if not all of it).
* Gymnast's coaches are comparable to having boss (or worse then).
* It is considered the number one priority in a gymnasts life (a lot of the time).

-Should children be allowed to spend all of their time participating in a sport when their number one priority is supposed to be school?
- Why is it okay for gymnasts to pull half days or simply get tutored so that they can rise to fame? -Why are exceptions made for gymnasts but not for other children?
-Is not going to school daunting for gymnast's social lives?

*These are all questions which you must ask yourself before you decide to enroll your child in competitive gymnastics with the intent for them to become a star. Tune in for more on the Achieving the Perfect 10 documentary. *

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