The Case For Competitive Sports In Schools

After posting a blog about free sports lessons for kids yesterday, it was interesting to hear from some mums that they think sports classes and lessons are too competitive for kids.

I don’t know about you but surely the chance to compete is part of the reason why sports are good for kids. Don’t get me wrong I’m no sports champion in fact I was rubbish at PE. Not only was I the last to be chosen for teams, but also I was completely hopeless at gym, and appalling at athletics.

However, even though I never won a medal being a sports loser didn’t crush me, or stop me from enjoying sports both as a child and as an adult. So I am bemused at why so many people think participating in competitive sports is such a bad thing.

It’s a subject that’s currently irking me because I’ve just come back from a meeting at my daughter’s new school where I’ve been told there is a non-competitive sports policy. Translated this means during PE there are no winners and no losers and it seems no sporting enthusiasm whatsoever.   This is reflected in the curriculum where instead of football and baseball and a variety of heart pumping sports there is country dancing. Call me old school but surely as the government are calling for all under 5’s to get three hours of exercise a day, schools should be encouraging kids to love sport for what it is. That’s the chance to try something sporty, get better at it, compete and maybe even excel at it?
Doesn’t that in turn help prepare our kids for the real world? 
It’s a theory backed up in a new book Rush: Why You Need To Love The Rat Race by Todd Buchholz. Buchholz believes competition is good and patting children on the head without expecting them to achieve is a dangerous way to bring up kids. Embrace competition is his message and I for one whole-heartedly agree.

What about you? Are competitive sports in school a good or bad thing?