Taking part in competitive team games in the run up to GCSE and A-level exams will have no negative effects on a teenager’s grades, according to research commissioned by The Headmasters’ & Headmistresses’ Conference (HMC). The Telegraph reports.
The study analysed the GCSE results of 1,482 male and female students from 19 independent schools, and examined the effect that participation in sports such as badminton, cricket, hockey, netball, rugby and tennis had on their results.
Professor Peter Clough, head the Psychology department at Huddersfield University who carried out the research, found that contrary to what some parents believe, “sport involvement does not appear to have any negative implications” on results.
He told The Daily Telegraph: “Overall, taking part in sport appears to have a lot of positive impact. There is no evidence that people involved in sport get any worse GCSE results.
“But they are happier, psychologically healthier, less anxious and more resilient and robust. Taking part in sport on a regular basis is not doing them any harm and it is doing them good.”
“Balance is important, and sport plays a vital role in preparing them for the pressures of the exam room. It can even help some young people thrive when in stressful situations.”
The study also examined whether participation in other extra-curricular activities, such as music and drama, had any effect on exam results.
It found that these activities had neither a positive nor a negative direct effect on academic performance. But they did not have the same advantages as sport in terms of improving wellbeing and mental toughness.
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