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Are ‘non-competitive sports days’ really better for school children?

'It's not just winning, it's the taking part that matters'

According to a recent survey, 57% of parents with children at primary school say their sports day is “non-competitive”.

This means an event in which “everyone joins in via a team-focused event where individuals are not singled out”, says Families Online, which conducted the survey. In practice, this often results in schools dividing the children into groups that do compete, while parents yell encouragement from the sidelines. There are no school records to be broken and no tears on podiums.

The survey found that 86% of its responders do not approve. There will be no winners, no losers. There will simply be participants. Is this what we really want for our future generations?

What are your views?  Is competition important for children?  Is it essential in life to learn how to be a good loser? Should sports day just be about fun and taking part? Is the humiliation of losing going to switch children off sport at a young age? What was your school sports day like?

Are ‘non-competitive sports days’ really better for school children?

244 people have already voted, what's your opinion? Yes No

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1BA
28th Aug 2017
0
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When I was at school many many many decades ago, the school sports day was all about taking part, doing your best and having fun. One of the lessons we learnt was to accept we did not always win and the important thing was taking part. Some parents seem to thing that winning is everything and see not winning as a failure which is said, we all have to learn to loose at some point. Wrapping children in cotton wool means there in for one hell of a shock when they grow up and enter the real world
0
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No we need to stop wrapping our children up in cotton wool if they never loose how will they learn to fight for what they want in life ,,,
Munsterlander
25th Jul 2017
1
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No how can they be. Life is about competition. If you win or loose your learning something.
Greenise
21st Jul 2017
1
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There will always be people of all ages trying to be one better than you so learn to compete. How else can you give of your best?
MrsPat
18th Jul 2017
3
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Kids always have had competition and should continue to do so its good for them
Yodama
17th Jul 2017
2
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Helicopter parents practically chewing their kids food for them and breathing for them if they could.

Let the kids show their mettle, they will need it in the cut-throat corporate world that they will be thrust into.

With no parents to coddle them, they will not be able to look to themselves to cope.

I have one word to say about this ridiculous idea.
Tosh! or maybe two tosh and bunkum.
Dianelily
15th Jul 2017
4
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Children have to grow up knowing life is competitive. Schools ruined sports day. Races etc seem to be run in teams as well rather than individual races. Kids have to get used to the ups and downs of life.
scandiman
14th Jul 2017
5
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OK, scrap competitive sports days, then scrap Wimbledon tennis. We won't have anyone who can compete, because they can't stand the idea of losing. More half-baked, crackpot ideas from over-paid, self-serving, self-important bureaucrats. More damage has been done to this country in the last forty years than in the previous two centuries. When we have been reduced to shambling, timid wrecks, afraid of everyone, gender neutral eunuchs, the clever left wing and liberals will have won. Trafalgar, Waterloo, Battle of Britain, Battle of the Atlantic? We couldn't manage it now, we've no back-bone.
Lionel
13th Jul 2017
4
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What on earth are the educationalists (teachers) doing to our grand children?

Life is competitive, and that's from one without a competitive instinct! In every aspect of life there is competition. My family of Collies is ferociously competitive, especially the boys. At times its dog eat dog, until I intervene.

So why is the competitive instinct in our grand children being so heavily suppressed? What's wrong with learning to lose gracefully? We all lose at some point in our lives.

Ah, do I detect a PC motive here, an EU directive, one that's been at work subliminally for years? Yes, of course I do. The evidence is before us all.

We've had a referendum and a year later a General Election. Neither result went the way so very many young people wanted. So .. they cry, they protest, they get on Facebook and Youtube ... poor darlings ... something didn't go their way.

Life sucks at times. Live with it, get over it. Losing is a big part of life. For some it is the bigger part of life.

Just ask any Silver Surfers member, they'll tell you.

Right?
DUGG
21st Jul 2017
1
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Competetive, that is life, one only needs to look at all of living things to see.
Lionel
21st Jul 2017
1
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Well said Dugg because it's so true.
Shadrak
13th Jul 2017
5
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Pam1960 sums it up nicely. Life isn't just about being there (how awful) - so many things involve an element of competition and commitment the sooner our children learn this the better. for them and for society.
angharad
13th Jul 2017
3
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Sports day yesterday, my grandson of 7yrs won all his races bar one the marathon, he lost this because his friend fell so he went back to help, he is competitive but also knows how to be kind, this is a far more important a lesson to be taught.
Marie63
13th Jul 2017
3
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I don't see what's wrong with a bit of competition in schools, life is competetive. I well remember my school sports day, I was no good but enjoyed taking part and that one time when I came second in the three legged race gave me a great feeling.
Robster
12th Jul 2017
4
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l,m glad our policemen, our armed forces like to win, mind you, we know what that means, primarily, to that dear pearson wearing Her Majesties Uniform,also what it means to us ordinary people left behind. Glad most of them were taught at a time,which meant us happy folk do not have to worry about, such trivia as everything being equal. God Bless Elizabeth. a lady that stands second to none
Lionel
12th Jul 2017
4
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Yes, Yes Yes and Yes again. Yours is the best post on SS I've read in my fifteen months membership.

Thank you.
Pam1960
12th Jul 2017
6
Thanks for voting!
You have to compete for things in everyday life. You may as well learn this from an early age. Why is it wrong for someone to be acknowledged as being good at something. I remember at school our reports stated the position you came in the class after tests & general classwork. We were always in competition with each other to get higher marks. I think overall British people are capable of working winning things but lack the know how to do so. Winning in sport is not always about talent, determination, work rate and strategy plays a part. The earlier these skills are learnt the better. Accepting that not everyone can be the best is also part of life you can only ever try your best
Lornaj
12th Jul 2017
6
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Some children excel at academic subjects, some are musical and others are artistic by singling out athletic children from competition we are undervaluing a significant number of children. Why not have a mixture of competive and non competive games at sports days?
Jo Kingham
12th Jul 2017
3
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Life is competitive full stop so children need to learn this and cope with the highs and lows. Learning to lose and to be graceful about it is a life lesson. They reckon children are missing out on learning values such as sportsmanship in todays world because they no longer play boards games and cards like we did when we were young.
Children today are praised for doing well academically but not much else. Those that aren't as gifted in the classroom should be given their opportunity to shine and for some sports day is their only time to be the best at something. Let them have their moment!
KathleenD7
12th Jul 2017
3
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Don't like competition,they don't learn how to be good loses, just get upset,always the same people who win. Don't like sport at all!Not because I was that bad,just average.Education is far too narrow anyway,should be alternatives for pupils who don't like sport. It doesn't teach people to be kind & nice. Far too much of it on TV,it grieves me to see little children trotting out with footballers,on to the field,they proud parents pay for that !! It's reflected glory. It's sad.
Marley444
12th Jul 2017
2
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Competition is all part of life. You have to learn to handle disappointments in life as well as the accomplishments. This is what makes a balanced adult. Winning is a great thing and a great motivator to achieve your best whilst learning how to lose is a healthy lesson if taught correctly!
helenc111
12th Jul 2017
3
Thanks for voting!
That's it if taught correctly. I hated sports although we didn't do the variety they do now. I still cringe at the thought of one of my sports days when we had to do a variety of things and I got further behind and finished so far behind all the others. I was already very shy but that made me even worse at the embarrassment of it. I haven't wanted to compete at anything since.

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