Pupils ‘want school sport to be less competitive’

Ministers are putting too much emphasis on competitive sport in schools, MPs have said. A cross-party committee said that competitive team games risked putting some children off sport and said that teachers should also offer non-competitive sports to pupils. This is from the Times…

The MPs also attacked the Government’s plans to follow up the London Olympics with two years of extra funding to enhance sports in primary schools, saying that it risked becoming a “gimmick” and calling for longer-term provision to improve sport in schools…

Ministers have pressed for more competitive team sports in schools, such as football, rugby, hockey or netball.

But the MPs were swayed by witnesses such as the Women’s Sport and Fitness Foundation, which cited evidence that 51 per cent of girls were put off by competitive sports and so were less physically active. Their report said: “The balance of evidence to our inquiry supports the view that competition in school sport deters some young people from participating in sport and physical activity.

“We therefore recommend that the Department for Education makes clear to all schools that they must offer both competitive and non- competitive sporting opportunities to pupils.”

More at:  Pupils ‘want school sport to be less competitive’ (subscription required)

See also: Olympic legacy on school sport ‘on life support’

Do you agree that too much competitiveness can put some pupils off sport? Is the same also true in reverse in that other pupils will find sport boring if there is not a reasonable degree of competitiveness? How can you practically balance these difference preferences to ensure all pupils are as engaged with sport and PE as possible? Please share in the comments or on twitter… 

Olympic legacy on school sport 'on life support'
School places cheats: More than 1,000 investigations into allegations of lying parents last year
Categories: Health.


    • 3rhodie

      andylutwyche SchoolsImprove yes pupils that are poor at sport!! those who are good embrace competition and relish the chance to shine.

      • guestasinvited

        I beg to differ. I am poor at competing but I can assure you I am the fittest person who enjoys working out among all my (extended) family, friends and colleagues. They are two separate issues and forcing them into the same category is wrong, misleading and unhelpful.

  1. Mr_Chas

    SchoolsImprove Yes. Sport is by definition competitive. Exercise isn’t. Offer things like zumba / aerobics / jogging alongside football etc

  2. hayleyshon

    SchoolsImprove Everything in life is a competition of sorts, they need to just get used to it. There are no medals for taking part in life!

  3. DoctorACook

    SchoolsImprove competitive element drove me (fat kid who ws always last) away. Wd hv appreciated chance to improve without ridicule.

  4. DoctorACook

    SchoolsImprove competitive element drove me (fat kid who ws always last) away. Wd hv appreciated chance to improve without ridicule.

  5. Miss_Informed86

    SchoolsImprove I always loved PE even though I was rubbish. Why? The aim was to beat our own PB. The competition was with ourselves.

  6. russellfindlay

    SchoolsImprove competitive sport doesn’t need to put kids off sport. How about improving the experience of competitive sport

  7. pencochyn

    SchoolsImprove they want it to be more fun is the answer. Try a variety of sports so that the same 5 or 6 kids don’t win all the time.

  8. creatorjohn

    SchoolsImprove are we missing the point & pigeon holing children into competitive or non competitive? Is it not about how we deliver comp?

  9. guestasinvited

    I hated sports as a child and only started appreciating playing them after I left school. It was a revelation to realise I didn’t need to compete to enjoy them. i can’t live without exercising now. I enjoy running outdoors, aerobics classes, the form of different martial arts, hiking and even doing two month long cycling tours in Asian countries. I feel like a big part of my childhood was robbed from me due to all the competing we had to do at every level of school. I also hated the attention I got from doing well at school, be it the praising by the teachers or the more unpleasant ridiculing ones from the jealous kids or the bullies. Introverts may be in the minority in this world but a school system that is designed to bring the best out of the opposite type of people doesn’t contribute to their blossoming. Forget the fun part, how about considering ways of not crippling their potential.

Let us know what you think...