Today’s poll: Should there be more or less competitive sport in school?

A recent report suggested the majority of children would  be “relieved or not bothered” if the competitive element was removed from sport. Now Sir Roger Bannister is arguing for the importance of competitive sport in schools and refuting the idea that those who do not win suffer emotional harm. So should there be more or less competitive sport in schools?

[yop_poll id=”165″]
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Categories: Poll.


  1. As a member of the All Party Parliamentary Group For A Fit and Healthy Childhood I am keen to see that all angles are explored and all views debated before balanced, sensible decisions are made as to what the group will recommend to parliament.
    The group is looking at issues around children’s diet, family and media influences, government policy, child physical and mental well-being and much more besides.
    The benefits of both formal Sport and informal Play are included in the scope. We want to propose actions which will work for ALL children.

    A recent commission (not the same as an APPG) looking purely at physical activities heard lots of evidence for quite a balanced range of possible solutions to their particular scope, yet to me the resulting report seemed as one-sided as they ever get.

    Personally, my view is that sports and PE have value and should always be part of a well-balanced curriculum.
    They should not dominate, nor should they be de-valued. They should be treated in the same way as maths, English, science, playtimes, meals, teaching, classrooms or any other essential element of school is regarded as important. 
    Sport and PE should be funded in a sensible manner to ensure children get what they need from the lessons.

    Competiveness as an element of sports should be included because it is part of life-learning, which is part of schooling, but there should also be non-competitive elements so that children receive a balanced education and plenty of opportunities to determine what they are personally good or not so good at.
    Not everyone ends up working in a competitive environment so we should let children experience as wide a range of possibilities as we can offer them in the same way as we all accept that some children are better then others at maths. We ensure they all get a sound grounding because we know it is the right thing to do but we accept that only those children with a real aptitude should be pushed further.
    The same rule should apply equally for all elements of child education and not be driven by the fad of the day, who is in government this year or who is shouting the loudest this week.

    Lets not forget there is more to life than just the Olympics and there are excellent alternatives to sport and PE which research in the UK and around the world has long-since proven can achieve the same (and often better) physical and mental development benefits for children.
    All children need exposure to opportunities to learn about themselves, to get regular exercise, to challenge and test themselves and to develop their social skills, their emotional understanding and cognitive abilities, their team-working skills, their resilience to stressful situations and to minor injury, etc. so lets offer some balanced, alternative and beneficial activities to those children for whom formal, adult-driven sports will never be the answer and lets also ensure well-funded support for those children for whom sport is going to be beneficial.

  2. MarkPTrotter

    SchoolsImprove wrong question – because the opinion is bound to be polarised (hence the poll) rather what do we gain from competitive sport

  3. arwenwhite

    SchoolsImprove More. Nothing like a bit of healthy competition. Fed up this “everyone is a winner” crap – not real life. #toughlove

  4. SchoolsImprove

    LangdalePrimary Oh dear – having one of those days today. It should be 71% More and 21% “Less” – not yes. Thanks for pointing out.

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