Forget the idea that Britain is a nation of good sports who can accept defeat and victory with equal good grace.
A recent survey suggests UK’s schoolchildren find it difficult to lose graciously in sport and goes on to say that their parents can be just as bad.
The survey questioned 1,008 parents and 1,007 children aged eight to 16 and found that two-thirds of the parents with eight to 16-year-olds said their children reacted badly when they lost.
A further two-thirds of respondents said parents also behaved badly when watching children’s matches by mocking the opposition and even using foul language with the referee or umpire.
Sulking, getting angry and crying were some of the commonest antics of sore losers – whether they were parents or children.
One child in the survey described how, after losing at squash, their opponent kicked the wall and broke two toes, while another recalled a team-mate who swore loudly when he lost, then ran and locked himself away in the toilets.
However, it was not all bad news with almost all parents saying their children were gracious in victory and three-quarters of children said they shook hands with the opposition after losing the game.
In response, the Marylebone Cricket Club and the Cricket Foundation, which commissioned the research, is offering sportsmanship lessons to schools from the start of the summer term.
The Spirit of Cricket initiative will teach young people in 4,000 state schools how to win and lose politely.
Source: BBC News