Children shun competition in school sport

 

Competitive dads across the country should brace themselves. Almost two out of three children would either be relieved or “not bothered” if the competitive element were taken out of school sport.

A study of 1,000 eight- to 16-year-olds and a similar number of parents reveals that mothers and fathers are often more anxious about the result of school games than their children are.

It comes at a time when MPs from the Prime Minister, David Cameron, down have expressed concern that too many schools are failing to organise competitive sports games due to fears that it exposes children to a sense of failure if they lose.

The report, compiled by the MCC and Chance to Shine, the cricketing charity which promotes the game in state schools, reveals competition is a key reason why parents watch their children play.

Nearly four out of 10 children (39 per cent) believe their parents would be less likely to turn up if there were no winning or losing element – and 22 per cent of parents acknowledge this, too.

It shows that nine out of 10 young people believe it is important to experience both winning and losing. But while 62 per cent of children said they could take pride in winning, the figure for parents was much higher, at 71 per cent.

In addition, 64 per cent said they would be relieved or – in the words of the fictional teenager Vicky Pollard from television’s Little Britain – “not bothered” if there were no emphasis on winning or losing in school games.

The days of the pushy parent are confirmed by the survey, with parents on the touchline saying they were more concerned about winning than the children – 97 per cent as opposed to 84 per cent.

When asked what the most important aspect of sport was, 43 per cent of parents and 36 per cent of children mentioned teamwork and exercise.

“It is worrying to see so many children would be relieved to see the competitive element removed from sport,” said Wasim Khan, the chief executive of Chance to Shine and a former Warwickshire cricketer.

“We want to teach children the importance of playing sport competitively and fairly – and explain the benefits it can bring to their lives.”

The MCC and Chance to Shine are combining to launch a competitive and fair-play  initiative in state schools, involving holding assemblies and taking lessons on the subject in 5,500 state schools over the summer – educating 420,000 pupils.

Derek Brewer, the chief executive of the MCC, added: “The combination of competition and fair play is integral to the MCC Spirit of Cricket message so the results of this survey are a concern.

“Through our partnership with Chance to Shine, the MCC will promote this Spirit of Cricket message to thousands of children across the UK to show how they can learn from fairly played competitive sport.”

Another concern is the selling-off of school playing fields, often for private developments such as housing. The Government insists that all applications have to be approved personally by the Secretary of State for  Education. However, campaigners say this has failed to halt the erosion of land.

News
Actor Burt Reynolds last year
peopleBurt Reynolds, once among the most bankable actors in Hollywood, is set to auction his memorabilia
News
Gordon and Tana Ramsay arrive at the High Court, London
newsTV chef gives evidence against his father-in-law in court case
News
people

Watch the spoof Thanksgiving segment filmed for Live!
News
The data shows that the number of “unlawfully” large infant classes has doubled in the last 12 months alone
i100Mike Stuchbery, a teacher in Great Yarmouth, said he received abuse
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment
The starship in Star Wars: The Force Awakens
filmsThe first glimpse of JJ Abrams' new film has been released online
Arts and Entertainment
The cover of The Guest Cat – expect to see it everywhere
books
News
i100 Charity collates series of videos that show acts of kindness to animals
Arts and Entertainment
One of the installations in the Reiner Ruthenbeck exhibition at the Serpentine Gallery
artCritics defend Reiner Ruthenbeck's 'Overturned Furniture'
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Education

Opilio Recruitment: Market Entry Analyst

£50k - 60k per year + Benefits: Opilio Recruitment: A successful Google join...

Opilio Recruitment: International Development Manager

£60k per year + benefits: Opilio Recruitment: A successful Google joint vent...

Opilio Recruitment: Apprentice Advisor - IT

£30k - 34k per year + Benefits: Opilio Recruitment: We are currently recruit...

h2 Recruit Ltd: New Business Sales Manager - Talent Management - £60,000 OTE

£35000 - £60000 per annum + benefits: h2 Recruit Ltd: A true market leader in ...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

Christmas Appeal

Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

Is it always right to try to prolong life?

Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

What does it take for women to get to the top?

Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
Christmas jumper craze: Inside the UK factory behind this year's multicultural must-have

Knitting pretty: British Christmas Jumpers

Simmy Richman visits Jack Masters, the company behind this year's multicultural must-have
French chefs have launched a campaign to end violence in kitchens - should British restaurants follow suit?

French chefs campaign against bullying

A group of top chefs signed a manifesto against violence in kitchens following the sacking of a chef at a Paris restaurant for scalding his kitchen assistant with a white-hot spoon
Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
Cuba set to stage its first US musical in 50 years

Cuba to stage first US musical in 50 years

Claire Allfree finds out if the new production of Rent will hit the right note in Havana
Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

Learn and play: 10 best educational toys

Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
Paul Scholes column: I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season

Paul Scholes column

I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
Lewis Moody column: Stuart Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

Lewis Moody: Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

So what must the red-rose do differently? They have to take the points on offer 
Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game