Two-thirds of UK children feel under pressure to cheat at sports because of a “win-at-all-costs” culture on the playing fields, according to a survey by UK cricket’s governing body the MCC and the ‘Chance to Shine’ cricket charity.
A quarter of the children questioned for the survey thought team mates would cheat frequently if they could get away with it and more than a third said they felt no remorse at winning by cheating.
As many as one in 20 of those questioned said they were proud won by cheating, but ironically almost half said they would have felt angry or frustrated if they lost a game because of cheating by the other team.
However, one in five insisted that their teammates had never cheated.
In a separate survey of 1,004 parents of children aged eight-16, nearly two-thirds of parents believe that cheating by high profile sportsmen and women is adding to the pressure on young people to copy them.
To help teach young people how to play sport in a competitive but fair spirit, MCC and Chance to Shine are delivering a nationwide scheme to encourage ‘fair play’ in schools.
Chance to Shine coaches will deliver assemblies and lessons in good sportsmanship to around 400,000 children in 4,500 state schools, as part of the MCC Spirit of Cricket scheme.
Derek Brewer, Chief Executive of MCC commented, “This survey highlights the pressures children feel under when playing sport. With this backdrop it is vital that children are taught the importance of playing sport in the correct spirit.