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Parents urge children to be competitive

“How many goals did you score?” and “how was netball practice?”, just a couple of things some parents may say to their children with the hope of encouraging them to do better…


According to a new study, nine in 10 parents want their youngsters to be allowed to be more competitive at school.

Research from more than 2,000 mums, dads and teachers, found over two thirds believe competition teaches children that they have to work for things in life.

Sixty-nine per cent also said it helps youngsters to realise they don’t always win or come out on top of everything.

The findings from Find a Future come despite the current trend of little or no competitive activity in many schools.

Carole Stott commissioned the survey: “Many schools have, in recent years, moved their emphasis for children away from winning and losing to simply taking part.

“We believe this is detrimental both to the individual and to the wider community, since competition motivates ambition and increases performance standards among those involved, as well as their classmates.

“Importantly, competition also creates role models who other young people look to emulate, driving up standards and creating an upward cycle of success which is enjoyed by the individual, their school or employer and ultimately the nation as a whole.”

This research follows on from an earlier study which claims the majority of youngsters would be happy to see the competitive element removed from school sport.

In April, the Marylebone Cricket Club and charity Chance to Shine, surveyed 1,000 children and 1,000 parents.

It found 64 per cent of eight to 16-year-olds said they would be “relieved, not bothered or happier” if winning or losing were not a factor.

Last year, a report by education watchdog Ofsted said there was not enough strenuous physical activity in school PE lessons.

And in February, the Government pledged to award primary schools in England £150m per year in sports funding in an effort to restore PE to the heart of the timetable and capitalise on the legacy of the London 2012 Olympics.

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