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To think that year 4 competitive sport should be more inclusive than competitive

(46 Posts)
saresywaresy2 Thu 17-Mar-16 10:21:03

Basically I'm saying - should all the children who want to have a go playing in a school team be able to have a go regardless of ability?
My son is in year 4 and for the first time they are playing all kinds of different sports against other schools in tournaments. It is a fantastic opportunity and experience for them - if they're sporty.
His teacher is competitive and picks the best kids to go in the teams. He does a try out and then he picks a team completely based on merit. My son is one of those annoyingly good at everything sorts and has been picked for everything. He loves it and I don't want to take it away from him and I never would say anything to stop him getting involved, but I'm just surprised that his teacher isn't letting everyone have a go. I know some wouldn't want to. But i think if they';ve tried out and they've never been on a team before I would pick them. My husband says i'm being a typical lefty. Just wondering what is standard with these things? I am starting to feel guilty around other parents!

HereIAm20 Thu 17-Mar-16 11:39:02

Sorry I disagree with you and agree with your DH. Perhaps those "sporty" children are not academic and therefore this is their turn to shine. I appreciate that there will be some kids that are sporty and academic or arty and sport or arty and academic but this "everyone should have a go" drives me mad. They do get a go ie. within the context of lessons so why shouldn't the better players be picked for the team. (As they get to senior secondary school there are often 4 or even 6 teams playing at different levels anyway).

If your school was entering, for example, a mastermind type competition do you think the less clever children should represent the school?

Life is competitive and by year 4 kids know that anyway. Quite often some are late developers and will play later. Some of the better players stay smaller than some of the less good ones who overtake them. I am assuming your DC hasn't been picked and you have sour grapes.

budgiegirl Thu 17-Mar-16 11:41:46

I know probably most people will disagree with me, but I do think that generally a strong team should be picked. They could maybe rotate the weaker players. And I say this as a parent of a child who is almost never picked to play!

I think training should be open to all, regardless of ability, but I can totally understand why they would pick a strong team for tournaments. After all, the same thing happens in maths or English competitions.

SukeyTakeItOffAgain Thu 17-Mar-16 11:45:36


Competitions are competitive.

OliviaDunham Thu 17-Mar-16 11:45:39

The kids that are best for the team should be picked, my DS rarely gets picked as he's not that sporty.

I bet you are the sort that gives medals for "taking part" too on sports day - you either win or you don't, life's competitive and kids need to learn this!

WorraLiberty Thu 17-Mar-16 11:47:23

I disagree. I think younger than year 4 then yes, fine.

But by that age the school should be looking at pulling away slightly from 'give everyone a go' attitude, and heading more towards competition.

Mind you, some schools have an A, B and C team for this sort of thing but of course that depends on staff and resources.

CheeseAndOnionWalkers Thu 17-Mar-16 11:51:33

In my experience ks1 is purely inclusive where as competitive starts in ks2.
I've heard shocking stories about footie teams really ramping up the pressure in y3.

WonderingAspie Thu 17-Mar-16 11:52:00

YABU. Our school works the way you think it should and I don't like it. The children that are picked for competitive stuff are quite often the slowest and just not that good and the ones who are sporty and pretty good and want a go are getting left out. Competitive sports is just that and it should be. Not all children get a go in everything in life just to make things fair if they aren't actually that good at it.

ThroughThickAndThin01 Thu 17-Mar-16 11:53:45

YABU. I think the first team should be made up of the most talented.

Backingvocals Thu 17-Mar-16 11:54:02

Actually I agree with you. School is on the verge of losing my Y4 daughter to sport altogether. She's keen but not that talented - but happy doing it for now. She's recently been upset not to be chosen to participate in any of the fun off-site things the school is doing - cross country running, netball tournament, football day. She keeps saying she wishes it wasn't competitive as she'd love to take part but doesn't get the opportunity. She is on the verge of puberty and will feel that sport is not for her.

There is a place for competitive sport - for the very able children. But at our school that's basically all there is that is given any value. It's the equivalent to not letting the less able children do art unless they are going to win a prize for the school.

This is what happened to me at school and it took till adulthood to discover activity again for myself (not team games - running, swimming, yoga).

And yes some bits of life are competitive - but activity really mustn't be only competitive. Because that way the majority of kids will drop out as they are not the best. If I was restricted to competitive sport now I wouldn't do anything as I'm not good enough at anything.

edwinbear Thu 17-Mar-16 12:01:35

YABU. School sports teams are for the best players to compete and (hopefully) win matches against other schools top players. PE lessons are for inclusive sport. Life doesn't work in a manner that everyone has access to each and every availaible opportunity.

curren Thu 17-Mar-16 12:21:08

Sorry Yabu.

My dd was extremely academic but not very sporty.

My ds is sporty but not as academic.

Competitive sport is competitive. What about the kids that don't shine in the class room?

What about exams? How fair is that some kids always do well in exams and some kids don't?

Don't you think those kids feel bad every time there is a test?

Quite honestly I think kids need to recognise their strengths and the boys where they aren't so great. If they really want to make the team they need to practice to get to that level.

thecitydoc Thu 17-Mar-16 12:27:35

YABVVU - it is a competitive sport - best players get in the team - this gives incentive for others to put in the practice to improve. When my son first started attending football training with local boys club he wasn't quite at the mark but rather than moan he got his head down, practised his skills at home and in training sessions put in the effort to get noticed. After a few months he was in the team. Several years later when I was the coach I would have mothers - always mothers - phone me after training when team for weekend had been picked asking why their son was not in the team again. My answer was always the same - not good enough. Some did try harder and moved up, others couldn't be bothered.

saresywaresy2 Thu 17-Mar-16 12:29:59

I'm really surprised to be in the minority. I think the teacher could sneak a couple of duffers into each team and still have a decent team and give all kids an opportunity to be part if it.
Our eldest son didn't get the sport gene but loves sport. He's in year 7 now - in his day I didn't even know that all these primary tournaments took place. Our young one came home in the school strip last week and his brother was so wistful looking at him saying how he always wanted to wear it :-( it makes me sad.
I'm so so proud of the sporty one. I know how hard he works to get in the team and how much the events mean to him. I also know that to our eldest it would have been stressful taking part and he probably wouldn't have enjoyed it. But I still think if I was the teacher I would try to include as many as wanted to...

Monstertrucker Thu 17-Mar-16 12:30:10

Competitive is fine. What's not fine is saying to the kids that everyone will get to play a match and then not following through with that. We had that one year and it caused far more heartache than a simple explanation that the best players would be picked.

MattDillonsPants Thu 17-Mar-16 12:30:28

As the Mother of a sporty kid and an un sporty kid, YABU. My un sporty kid gets her chance to shine academically.

lampygirl Thu 17-Mar-16 12:31:02

I am good at sports, and I hated it when it was made non competitive. I was really demotivated to participate in fun for all activities because being held back wasn't fun for me. Imagine someone good at maths being told not to try their hardest because it made others feel inadequate, it just wouldn't happen. I was in top set maths and a national level at sports. I was pushed in maths to try harder, do better, including doing my a-level in yr10 and 11. In sport I was told not to hit the ball so hard...

curren Thu 17-Mar-16 12:32:27

I'm really surprised to be in the minority. I think the teacher could sneak a couple of duffers into each team and still have a decent team and give all kids an opportunity to be part if it.

really? So the kids who are sporty have to prop up the 'duffers' or accept that won't win at competitions no matter how hard they try?

PurpleDaisies Thu 17-Mar-16 12:34:32

I don't agree with you op. PE lessons should be fun and inclusive for everyone but the teacher is correct in picking the best people for the teams. It's really unfair on the good players who get left out otherwise.

curren Thu 17-Mar-16 12:35:29

So what if your eldest gets great GCSEs but your youngest doesn't?

hazeyjane Thu 17-Mar-16 12:36:03

There is a place for the competitive sports, where children with sporting ability get to shine and play at a level that encourages their ability. But there needs to also be provision of good quality sport education that does not rely on being able at sports. We have a country of children who have higher rates of obesity than ever before, we need to encourage children who aren't 'sporty' to move, and play and engage in sports to have fun and keep active. This does not mean that there isn't a place for competitive sports as well, as I know how important competition is when you are good at a sport.

Mum of one sporty, keen child who loves competition...
One unco-ordinated, not a competitive bone in her body child who just loves joining in...
And one disabled child who also loves joining in and very much deserves a medal for running on sports day, despite having to be carried over the finish line by his teacher as he couldn't make the last few metres.

Sport in schools needs to cater for all these children.

Backingvocals Thu 17-Mar-16 12:39:35

I'm also surprised to be in the minority. But I do think that we need to find ways to maintain all children's involvement in activity.

I heard a sportsman on the radio this morning talking about how much he loved sport at school and how it has defined his life and how good it is for children and I thought, yeah, but children who are good at sport will naturally be into sport. That's not the difficult bit. What about the majority of the population - who are quite crap - but need to find ways to be kept engaged?

I think the process of disengagement starts at school - and at about this age. Young children love activity but by this age they are being told implicitly that sport is not for them.

saresywaresy2 Thu 17-Mar-16 12:39:36

I don't know now. It is difficult. But in our school the ones that get on the team also then get to be part of an after school practice club and the ones that don't can't join.
Maybe it should be as someone wrote above - that anyone can be in the club and practice together but they just pick the best to compete...that would maybe make me feel better!!!

RafaIsTheKingOfClay Thu 17-Mar-16 12:41:03

I think you need both. The A, B, C teams thing is a better idea. You can have a competitive team without putting off those that are enthusiastic and want to compete for fun.

redskytonight Thu 17-Mar-16 12:41:16

I do think the school should pick the strongest team to competitions.

But ... equally I think there should be opportunities for the "keen but not the best sportspeople". Otherwise you lose the children that are enthusiastic but never going to make school teams.

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