OH DEAR, Lord Coe got himself in a bit of a pickle last month, didn’t he?

If you missed it, he said that women primary school teachers were no good at taking physical education lessons.

In all fairness, he was commenting on research carried out by a sports charity, which blamed their lack of training. Eighty per cent of those questioned didn’t feel confident taking PE.

One of the difficulties of being a primary school teacher is that you have to be a jack-of-all-trades, switching from creative writing to maths, or from art to science, in an instant. You are trained for this but it’s never going to make you an expert in every subject.

When I trained to be a teacher back in the dark ages, we were sent to a school in the first term to spend a fortnight cutting our teeth by reading stories to a whole class and taking PE lessons.

It was a sensible choice, as both required discipline, a good delivery, interaction and supreme confidence. At 18 years old, that was quite a challenge.

Later, when I qualified and was let loose on a class of my own, I had no problems with PE, from using gym equipment to taking dance classes in the hall, or rounders outside.

The worst bit was searching for lost shorts or untangling knotted plimsoll laces.

I invented my own PE teacher persona, never being unkind to those who were less than fit, and never, ever getting people to choose sides. Why did teachers do that, knowing that it would humiliate the most vulnerable?

Do they still?

OK, we novices may not have spotted a future long jumper or gymnast, but children with potential gravitated to specialist clubs and training facilities, where they could concentrate on their sport. Also, there were excellent classroom teachers in school, who trained teams for competitive netball and football.

My proudest moment was being chosen to play in the staff netball team against a very good – and tough – team of pupils. We teachers dressed up in daft costumes and had a great time.

Isn’t that what it’s all about? Most of us will never be Olympians but we can have fun. We don’t need to learn that from specialist teachers.