Hard on the heels of new Government plans to revive competitive games for children comes new research revealing that thousands of schools choose not to single out the winners of pupils’ Sports Day competitions.
A survey of almost 300 primary and secondary schools found that nine percent of schools refuse to single out the winners of races at all, preferring instead to reward all participating pupils.
Less than a fifth of schools reward solely the winners of Sports Day races, with most over two thirds recognising both the winners and participants. Ministers now want a new School-Olympics programme to end the culture of ‘prizes for all’.
The sports championships are intended to give every child experience of hard-fought competition and stop schools refusing to pit youngsters directly against each other.
The survey also found that pupils at hundreds of schools miss out on competitive games as their schools do not have a Sports Day, with all blaming the burden of organizing the event, rather than insurance or health and safety issues, as the reason for not holding one.
Interestingly, no school said that insurance or health and safety issues were the reason and all teachers said they would prefer to hold a Sports Day if they had the choice.
The vast majority of teachers who said that they have a Sports Day said this is what they have always done, with over two thirds stating that it was held because they like to promote sport within their school.
Henry Shelford, chief executive of School Stickers who undertook the survey, said: ‘It is ironic that just days after the Government announces plans to reinvigorate competition in school sports, our survey reveals how many schools prefer a more “inclusive” approach.
Source: School Stickers