Where did non competitive sports days come from?
It’s one of my massive hates as a teacher and a mum.
Sport is competitive and I don’t understand why it has been turned into everyone is a winner. I loved sports day as a kid, it was something that I looked forward to. I didn’t win everything but I won some. We had a mixture of silly races and more traditional running races and all the children and parents loved it. At my little boys sports day last week it was done in teams of countries. There were lots of different activities but no one won anything individually. There were no running races due to health and safety as it had been raining (the day before!) One of the most ridiculous things I have seen was an egg and spoon race, no sorry walk, with no winners, just counting how many times the children completed it. Honestly, who comes up with this stuff?
I can imagine it must be tough to watch your child cross the line last. So has it been done for the parents? Because the majority of kids don’t actually care! At my school sports day the children that came last still got a sticker and were congratulated for taking part and they took it well even in Foundation stage. They are learning an important life skill. How to take part and be a gracious winner and a good loser. My little boys school goes to year 6. They are going to get a shock when they get to secondary and there are shock horror, winners and losers in sport. We need to be encouraging a love of competing from an early age if we want to raise the next Olympians. I can’t imagine non competitive sports day happens in America!
Now my biggest hate about it is that those children who are good at sport, who maybe don’t come first in anything else during the year, don’t get that chance to excel! That chance to win at something, to be proud of their achievements and have people who are proud of them. There are team games for winning as part of a team, football, rugby and netball that children get to experience. So why don’t we let them experience the feeling of winning something individually? The feeling of adrenaline before a race. The feeling of absolute joy when you have tried your hardest and succeeded.
Bring back the races! Let children run and compete and enjoy healthy competition!