EXCLUSIVE: British ladies Dodgeball captain Beth Dix speaks out against the BBC

England Dodge Ball

British ladies dodgeball captain Beth Dix has labelled a video by BBC world news as "an anti-dodgeball campaign heart-breaking.'

The video has been published following a recent study from Canada that suggests the sport has 'legalised bullying' and insists that students should not be forced to play as part of the school curriculum.

To succeed in a game of dodgeball, you must eliminate your opponent by striking them with the ball. The game ends when an entire team has been removed, thus creating a 'last-player-standing' scenario. 

Co-author of the study, Professor Clare Robson, told the BBC that the sport is problematic as it dehumanises players and creates an unsafe school environment. She went onto add that dodgeball can encourage bullying as the aim of the game is to 'target weaker players.' Although Robson doesn't want to see the sport banned completely, she does think it needs removing from the educational system.

"As part of the curriculum (dodgeball is) tantamount to legalise bullying. The fact that it happens in [a] school context gives you the legitimacy that we don't feel it deserves."

However, advocates of the sport are desperate to reiterate that this isn't the case.

Many players and supporters of the game have taken to social media in support. They argue that, when appropriately trained, players adopt a strong transferable skillset that can be applied to various sports. The professional game focusses on positional awareness, teamwork and accuracy rather than just making forceful contact.

21-year-old captain Beth also took to Twitter to share her disappointment. Beth is currently England Women's Captain and has been competing in the sport since her days at school in Bedfordshire.

"I'm heartbroken over this article because I was picked up [to play for] England at a school tournament! If I hadn't have had the opportunity to play in school. I wouldn't be England Women's Captain, a World Champion in the Mixed and Women's team or have been able to play at Madison Square Garden last year."

"I'm so frustrated that opportunities like this could pass people by if the sport is to be taken out of schools. Playing dodgeball for the last six years has helped shape me as an individual. I'm so lucky to have come across the players and incredible coaches I have," said Beth Dix.

" It's honestly mind-blowing to think about the sport is being tarnished with such a harsh, uneducated reputation by people who haven't ever experienced it or seen it in schools, or at a professional level. 
 
"Dodgeball is one of the only sports in the world that is so inclusive - it offers mixed and single-sex teams at an international level," said Beth Dix

Alongside her captain duties, Beth also finds the time to run dodgeball workshops. 

England Dodge Ball

"I've had the pleasure of going into numerous schools and delivering workshops to all ages and genders. I have found some of my highest inspiration from seeing how much the children love the sport. It's exciting. It's not the 'norm' sport to play, so I find it encourages a broader audience because it's so inclusive.

"Dodgeball doesn't use one specific skill. You can be a thrower on the team and make the hits, or you can take the catches and save teammates, or you can be the agile dodge who is key in keeping the group alive. It allows individuals to thrive in their own area. 

"Yes, dodgeball is a contact sport, but so is rugby, hockey, lacrosse, football, basketball, netball and I wouldn't ever dream of describing those as an environment where bullies can thrive. 

"Just because dodgeball isn't a traditional sport, doesn't mean it encourages bullies to thrive," said Beth Dix.

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