Sports stars 'undermine the teaching of fair play' - Education News - Education - The Independent

Sports stars 'undermine the teaching of fair play'

Cheating sports stars are undermining schools' attempts to teach children honesty and fair play, a leading prep school headteacher warned yesterday.

Cheating sports stars are undermining schools' attempts to teach children honesty and fair play, a leading prep school headteacher warned yesterday.

The increase of "systematic thuggery" on the sports field is making it harder for schools to teach children how to "lose with dignity", according to David Kidd, chairman of the Incorporated Association of Preparatory Schools (IAPS).

Footballers who "dive" in the penalty area or argue with the referee, rugby players who stamp on opponents and cricketers who refuse to "walk" when dismissed, all make it harder for schools and teachers to encourage honesty and enthusiasm in children, Mr Kidd said yesterday.

Mr Kidd, headmaster of Culford Preparatory School, in Suffolk, told the opening of the prep schools' annual conference in Torquay that sports stars were setting an increasingly bad example, a situation not helped by managers.

"The responsibility for players' conduct lies fairly and squarely on the shoulders of the managers," he said. "And yet, time and time again, football managers spend their time in front of the TV cameras, blaming the referee and trying to defend the indefensible."

He argued that the damage to young children who saw their sporting heroes behave badly could not be under-estimated.

"How many of you feel, like me, totally undermined in our efforts to instill sporting values and instinctive fair play into our youngsters, when the role models behave so badly? The television images of footballers dissenting and harassing referees do nothing to help us, when we are attempting to teach our pupils to win with grace and to lose with dignity."

Football was not alone, said Mr Kidd. "Systematic thuggery, which is seen regularly in top-class rugby, also causes difficulty for school games teachers. Deliberate stamping at rucks, late tackles designed to injure key opponents and take them out of the game all go to create an impression that thuggery and violence are acceptable. They are not!"

Mr Kidd called on all adults, but particularly those in schools, to consider the impact their actions had on children. "The example that adults give children has a profound effect on them. Stop and consider what message you are giving your pupils if you are seen to be behaving unfairly, rudely, careless of the feelings of others, and unwilling to tolerate another's point of view.

"Children can spot injustice very quickly. If we want our schools to be full of good caring citizens who are pursuing all aspects of school life with vigour, honesty and enthusiasm, that's what we must do ourselves."

Mr Kidd also expressed delight at national test results achieved by prep schools this year. Almost all the 9,500 11-year-olds at private schools achieved the required standard - 20 percentage points better than the national figure. More than half the private pupils achieved the standard normally expected of 14-year-olds.

POOR ROLE MODELS?

Diego Maradona scored his "Hand of God" goal in the 1986 World Cup quarter-final between England and Argentina.

Video evidence confirmed what everyone but the referee had seen at the time: that he had scored with his hand. The ball landed in the back of the net and the goal was allowed. Argentina won the game and, at the post-match press call, Maradona further infuriated the English by claiming the goal was scored "a little bit by the hand of God, another bit by the head of Maradona".

Martin Johnson, who captained the England rugby team to victory in the 2003 World Cup, was suspended from the game for three weeks in 2002 after punching an opponent in a league game for his club side, Leicester. On his return Johnson blamed the Rugby Football Union for making an example of him because of his position as England captain.

But he acknowledged a new strategy for avoiding further suspension. He said afterwards: "The key to it is not to get into any trouble at all."

Tonya Harding rocked the skating world when she was stripped of her US title and banned from US figure skating for life in 1994 for her role in an attack on a rival. Nancy Kerrigan was struck on the knee by a hitman hired by Harding's ex-husband. Harding went on to win the 1994 US champion-ships. But in the 1994 Winter Olympics she finished eighth and Kerrigan second.

Harding was later fined and banned after pleading guilty to hindering the police investigation into the attack on Kerrigan.

Mike Gatting was engulfed in one of cricket's greatest controversies during the 1987 England tour of Pakistan which will always be remembered for his bust-up with the Pakistani umpire, Shakoor Rana that resulted in the loss of a day's play. It began with allegations of cheating from both men. Rana refused to continue until Gatting apologised for his behaviour. The dispute nearly brought the tour to an end and was only resolved after the Foreign Office put pressure on the Test and County Cricket Board to make Gatting apologise.

Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Robin Thicke's video for 'Blurred Lines' has been criticised for condoning rape
music
News
Paper trail: the wedding photograph found in the rubble after 9/11 – it took Elizabeth Keefe 13 years to find the people in it
newsWho are the people in this photo? It took Elizabeth Stringer Keefe 13 years to find out
Voices
Yes supporters gather outside the Usher Hall, which is hosting a Night for Scotland in Edinburgh
voicesBen Judah: Is there a third option for England and Scotland that keeps everyone happy?
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
Matt Damon as Jason Bourne in The Bourne Ultimatum (2007)
filmMatt Damon in talks to return
News
peopleThe report and photo dedicated to the actress’s decolletage has, unsurprisingly, provoked anger
Arts and Entertainment
Evil eye: Douglas Adams in 'mad genius' pose
booksNew biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Life and Style
tech... and together they're worth at least £100 million
Arts and Entertainment
While many films were released, few managed to match the success of James Bond blockbuster 'Skyfall'
filmsDaniel Craig is believed to be donning skies as 007 for the first time
Arts and Entertainment
Fringe show: 'Cilla', with Sheridan Smith in the title role and Aneurin Barnard as her future husband Bobby Willis
tvEllen E Jones on ITV's 'Cilla'
Life and Style
Bono and Apple CEO Tim Cook announced U2's surprise new album at the iPhone 6 launch
tech(but you can't escape: Bono is always on your iPhone)
Sport
Tim Wiese
sport
Life and Style
Kim Kardashian drawn backlash over her sexy swimsuit selfie, called 'disgusting' and 'nasty'
fashionCritics say magazine only pays attention to fashion trends among rich, white women
Arts and Entertainment
TVShows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Arts and Entertainment
Hit the roof: hot-tub cinema east London
architectureFrom pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
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

IT Network Manager - Shepherd's Bush, London

£28000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Network Manager - Shepherd's Bush...

Secondary supply teachers needed in Peterborough

£21000 - £35000 per annum: Randstad Education Cambridge: Secondary supply teac...

Modern Foreign Languages Teacher

£100 - £110 per day: Randstad Education Group: Full time German Supply Teacher...

KS1 Teacher Cornwall

£23500 - £40000 per annum: Randstad Education Plymouth: Randstad Education Ltd...

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week