Should we celebrate sporting achievements?

When I was little I hated sports day. I wasn’t very good at sports and a day spent dedicated to them was no fun for me. Looking at my twitter and blog feeds I guess many parents felt the same too!

Bean however loves sports day, despite not being very sport really. Maybe it’s because she hasn’t realised her lack of skill in this department yet or maybe it’s because of the way in which her school runs the day. No fuss is made of the winner – they get a sticker saying 1st 2nd or 3rd but everyone gets a sticker. There is no announcement and no celebration of the winner – it just is. The school is divided into houses and the houses cheer each other on a bit, but not much really – the general concept is that everyone is out there to have fun and it doesn’t matter what team you are on or where you place.

It clearly works very well for little ones and the important thing is that everyone is happy and enjoys taking part in sports. But a little part of me thinks that there could be more emphasis on a winner. Sports achievements should be celebrated alongside academic achievements. There is no shame in standing in front of the school with a certificate for best speller but to celebrate fastest runner seems to be a sin? I know that the idea is to encourage participation in sports but does this attitude actually detract from the competitive nature of sports in general? Are we to blame for the lack of quality athletes available for the Olympics and other competitive games year after year?

What do you think? Should sports achievements be celebrated in the same way that academic achievements are or is encouraging children to enjoy taking part enough?

sports day 2014


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