School children put off by competitive sport

school sportsdayMost children would be happy to see the competitive element removed from school sport, according to a poll conducted on behalf of the MCC and cricket charity, Chance to Shine.

Almost two thirds (64%) of the 1000 eight to 16-year-olds questioned said they would be “relieved, not bothered or happier” if winning or losing were not a factor.

However, 22% of parents said they would have less interest in watching school sport if it was not competitive.

Although 84% of children believed experiencing winning and losing was important, the survey revealed that many would rather play sport for fun, or would be relieved if less was at stake.

The survey also found that 89.3% of parents of eight to 16-year-olds believed it was “important” or “very important” for their children to taste victory or defeat in sport.

Just under two in five (39%) children said their parents would be less interested without a competitive factor.

The poll also suggests that pushy parents who shout orders at the offspring from the touchlines are on the rise.

About 86% of the children surveyed, along with 97% of the parents, said that they felt some mothers and fathers were more concerned about winning than the children themselves.

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