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To think sports day SHOULD be about winning!

(131 Posts)
CandOdad Tue 30-Jun-15 08:39:20

So today we have sports day which yesterday meant a letter coming home telling us all about "the spirit of the game" and how we shouldn't cheer for our child or the team they are in since it's all about the taking part.

Now my son had a Beavers sports day a few weeks ago and not one child was upset at the trophy giving for the end and cheering for your Beaver set was actively encouraged.

Is it not time that children should be taught that there will be winners and that life is about how you deal with this and improve yourself rather than us all getting along like some happy clappy squad?

Before it's assumed I was the "winner" at school, I was not. I was most definitely the last at everything, but this taught me about how to value the other skills I have.

TheOddity Tue 30-Jun-15 08:42:58

What time is sports day? Will everyone have a parent there clapping for them? For me, sports day is about the children having a fun time, yes trying to win, but I would say no need for parents to be loudly shouting specific names.

WorraLiberty Tue 30-Jun-15 08:43:40

I've never heard of parents being asked not to cheer for their child's team?

The line is normally, "Please don't just cheer for your own child, but for your child's team".

Are you sure you read it right?

BarbarianMum Tue 30-Jun-15 08:44:10

If winning is the principle reason for sports day then the vast majority of children participating are wasting their time so I think that YABU. How would it work if participating children all stopped running the moment they it became obvious that they weren't going to win? Pretty frustrating all round.

IMO sports day should be about many things. Winning is one of them but taking part, perseverance and enjoyment are equally if not more important.

addictedtosugar Tue 30-Jun-15 08:45:02

Yes, I think sports day should be about winning, but I also think there should be a variety of activities, so lots of people can win, and everyone gets to have a go.

So, it shouldn't be, A, B, C, D and E competing in all the running races, while everyone watches, there should be running, jumping, throwing, obstacles etc etc. It also shouldn't just be about further / faster / higher but also accuracy, enjoyment and inclusion.

WalterShite Tue 30-Jun-15 08:47:50

Yanbu. At our primary, all parents/family will shout for their children, but we would also cheer on the other children as well, especially those who we know don't have a parent there to watch. There are trophies given out to winners etc. But all participants are praised for effort and every child is congratulated on their efforts towards gaining points for their house team.

I hated sports day, because I hated sports in general but I never once felt left out or put down because I didn't win, and now that DS is at the school I went to the system is still the same and he enjoys it even though he is not athletic.

AngelsWithSilverWings Tue 30-Jun-15 08:48:23

At our school, sports day is a fun day for all children regardless of ability. It really isn't about who wins and the spectators cheer for the house group that their children are in rather than individual children.

Borough sports day and the local school swimming galas are taken much more seriously and the children have to qualify and commit to training sessions if they want to take part.

The swimming galas in particular are very competitive.

morelikeguidelines Tue 30-Jun-15 08:49:10

We all cheer for our child plus any other child we know the name of. That way all children get lots of cheers. There is a winning team but not a winning individual which I think is a good balance.

merrymouse Tue 30-Jun-15 08:49:47

I would be confused - do they want general cheering or complete silence?

GoodbyeToAllOfThat Tue 30-Jun-15 08:50:21

Well, that's pretty silly if in fact it's as you say (and not like Worra says).

Topseyt Tue 30-Jun-15 08:51:10

Cheer for the team if you want to. That is ridiculous, suggesting that you don't.

Sports Day is surely about fun for children, whatever the outcome. When mine were at primary school every parent there cheered on their own child and the team. Are you supposed to stay silent? That would be odd.

CandOdad Tue 30-Jun-15 08:52:05

Oddity - Sports day is this afternoon so no not everyone will have someone but I think the not cheering the team is the thing I don't agree with most.

Worry - It's the same boiler plate letter we have had for the last three years and the "request" is always set out at the start of the day too.

I would have thought the fact they are in teams covered the less able and more able aspect. Also we don't have "traditional" running races.

youareallbonkers Tue 30-Jun-15 09:07:22

When my children were at primary school non competitive sports day was popular. They all ran around for 5 mins and everyone got sweets. Stupidest thing I've ever heard. Children need to learn if they want to win they have to try harder

SavoyCabbage Tue 30-Jun-15 09:08:17

Ours is about winning. I'm in Australia. They do shot put, hurdles 1500m and the like. All very properly and seriously. It's very full on.

SnowyPiglet Tue 30-Jun-15 09:08:30

Well I think your school is being a bit silly - what the hell is wrong with cheering? It's going to be very strange if everyone is quiet!

At our school, we cheer for the individuals and the teams/houses, and it makes it very lively with a good and healthy atmosphere. We also tend to cheer for the stragglers, to help them along. My son was trailing way behind in a swimming competition this term, but it was fantastic as all the parents realised he was struggling a bit and were chanting his name to encourage him along, and he felt really good when he finished, (albeit last by a long way!)

So if a child doesn't win a race, so what? There are plenty of other things they could be good at - art, music, writing, public speaking, many other less high-profile sports, academic stuff - sports day is just good fun and a team-building event to be enjoyed by all.

lljkk Tue 30-Jun-15 09:09:44

Banned from cheering is ridiculous.
I've had DSs doing huge meltdowns at sports day because they didn't win, I've kind of resolved never to go watch again. I know it's selfish not being there to help the staff deal with their meltdowns, I'm not tough enough for it, though.
I would like an emphasis on trying your hardest & being happy for your friends when they do win, and being able to congratulate everyone who tried their hardest.
So, 'Should be about winning' is still wrong emphasis for me.

jeee Tue 30-Jun-15 09:14:09

It depends on the ages. Infants - participation is important. Juniors - participation is important, but I think competition should be part of a sports day. Secondary school - competition should be the key element.

youareallbonkers - do you really believe that children can all win if only they try harder? I've got news for you. Some children just aren't that great at sport.

TwerkingSpinster Tue 30-Jun-15 09:16:16

I hate competitive sport. Always have, always will. Why can't they have sporting displays? Synchronised dance things, obstacles, gymnastic performances?? Why has it got to be the same kids who lets face it, spend all year being 'winners' winning again?

DorothyL Tue 30-Jun-15 09:22:21

Agree with Spinster. And before someone pipes up that it's a chance for the non academic ones to shine, what about those like ds and many other children who have learning difficulties and are bad at sport? Tough shit for them, never the best st anything? hmm

DopeyDawg Tue 30-Jun-15 09:24:04

Hah!
You could be at my school where the Head's daughters win everything???

Sports Day should be about mixed ability teams and cheering for teams.

Turtlefeet Tue 30-Jun-15 09:24:06

One primary school my DC attended had a non competetive sports day.

It was a load of total bollocks and just a pointless execise.

Lots of running around and throwing balls/beanbags for absolute no reason. Why they invited parents to attend I have no idea as we were told not to cheer either.

Surely,it was just a glorifed PE lesson with the whole school and parents watching?

Thankfully we were only there for one sports day before moving house and schools again.

BathshebaDarkstone Tue 30-Jun-15 09:26:29

I always cheer for whoever's competing for my DC's teams. The house that cheers loudest gets extra points.

fleurdelacourt Tue 30-Jun-15 09:27:07

having reluctantly run the parents race last year - can I just say that it's just a wall of noise as you run anyway? You cannot hear individual names or team names - just a general cheer.

But agree - sports day should be able to have a competitive element

AuntieStella Tue 30-Jun-15 09:32:21

It's bollocks.

Do they also tell you not to clap/cheer DCs when there are plays or concerts?

Or ever give awards at assemblies in total silence?

Now, I completely agree with BarbarianMum when she says: 'IMO sports day should be about many things. Winning is one of them but taking part, perseverance and enjoyment are equally if not more important'.

Many sorts of achievement should be celebrated in schools (even if teachers have to look hard to make sure that no-one is left out if everything all year).

If the problem is with over-enthusiastic (?) parents, then the 'cheer for the team' approach is likely to defuse it a lot. The ones I've been to tend to be about the house as much as the individual, and I think having concurrent events helps reduce over-focus on individuals.

BTW: are the children also banned from cheering? Including for any parent or teacher races?

blondegirl73 Tue 30-Jun-15 09:34:42

My son's school has houses and the kids wear different coloured tops for PE depending on which house they're in. Sports day is about the houses competing and is done really well, I think. They had some races like beanbag balancing, and skipping, and throwing stuff, where it was a relay and everyone took part and it was all about teamwork. Then they had sprints and hurdles where they'd had heats earlier in the week.
I thought it was brilliant at the time, because it was competitive enough with the houses pitted against each other. Then my son's house came bottom and he had a HUGE meltdown. As did loads of other kids.

I'm torn really. I'm not competitive in the slightest and I think that has been to my detriment really. So I do think some competition is good. But there does need to be a balance.

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