All week I’ve been blogging about things sports related for our kids. And yesterday’s blog got a resounding yes for parents for the injection of competitive sports at primary school.
One teacher however told me non-competitive sports was all about bolstering a child’s self esteem and not making them feel bad for losing/failing at physical activities. It’s a weak argument because it’s not a message that’s taken over in academic lessons. And it’s one that kids just aren’t fooled by it.
When I asked some seven year olds at the school Sports Day who was winning in a football game and one boy said, ‘No-one if you ask the teacher, but it’s 3-1 to us’!
Of course, I’m not suggesting that we turn schools into competitive arenas but that we acknowledge and encourage it in sport where it naturally exists. After all the media is always banging on about why we never win medals at the Olympics despite the large injection of money into promoting PE since 2005. Could it be because we don’t foster an air of competition and seize potential and encourage it? No wonder that both UK Sport and Olympics bosses privately admit that more than a third of athletes in Team GB for 2012 are likely to be private school-educated (bearing in mind just 7% of the general population go to private school).
The difference with sport in private schools is (aside from the time spent on sport, and the levels of coaching) is that competition is actively encouraged from the word go. Meaning everyone is pushed to win or at least do their very best whether they are sporty or not?
Is that really such a bad thing? What do you think?
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