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Sports Days – Yes or No?

As the school summer holidays approach, schools across the country start their winding down process after exams and tests are out of the way. This is when the annual sports day is usually staged. Did you love your school sports day or were you one of many who dreaded the event? Summer fetes and sports days are such a part of our culture that it would be hard to imagine a British summer without them. Some parents have called on schools to end the competitive sports day. So, the question is, are they good or bad for children?

Many a debate has been had over the competitive nature of such events and whether they offer any benefit. Some believe the practice should be stamped out, stating children are uncomfortable in the limelight, shouldn’t be forced to compete and it’s unfair on those less physically able, but who shine academically or creatively.

However, competition is something we all experience in life, is a part of a child’s growth and development and occurs in other areas of academic life, so why not sports too? Sports day is also a great opportunity for those children to shine who are less academically able. Sports day focuses on other areas of development, such as personal and social. Surely, these are just as important as academic prowess?

Competition is an important part of life, whether it’s the race on sports day, competing in a test to get into the best secondary schools or universities or the job of our dreams. Sports competitions therefore have an important role to play in teaching our children about competition from a young age. When we enter adulthood, simply ‘taking part’ doesn’t cut it.

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Ofsted has regularly reported that the most successful schools in the state and private sectors have a strong emphasis on competitive sport as well as academic excellence. Sport boosts positivity, encourages a shared ethos, builds spirit and fosters a sense of achievement through effort. Children who regularly engage in sport also see better grades too. To help your child with their chosen sport, why not check out the Sport Drill Videos at

Other arguments for the benefit of sports days is that it teaches children the concepts of fair play and that cheaters don’t prosper. It brings attention to the idea of playing by the rules and working with others.

It also teaches children how to deal with defeat. This life lesson is important as it teaches children to manage their expectations, be graceful in defeat and how to bounce back after disappointment. Nobody can win all the time, but it’s how you deal with feeling that benefits you in later life. It’s also an important lesson in social behaviour.

Setting goals in life is an essential skill and competitive sport is good experience of setting personal or team goals. The experience you have from engaging in sports can be transferred into helping you with many other areas of life, such as exam preparation, improving grades and encouraging a strong work ethic.

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There is also a strong link between sports and mental health. As well as physical benefits, engaging in sports helps prevent anxiety, stress and depression. Sport can offer a release from the stresses and strains of academic pressure. It boosts self-esteem and provides young people with additional confidence.

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