England revives 'real' school sports

England’s new Tory-led coalition government wants to bring back competitive school sports, reports the Daily Mail.

“Sport – whether you win or lose – teaches young people great lessons for life. It encourages teamwork, dedication and striving to be the best that you can be,” said Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt.

. . . Schools will be expected to host in-house Olympic-style sports days so that children of all abilities have the opportunity to compete and join teams.

Most students don’t compete in sports, even within schools.

In one directive to schools during the last Labour government, schools were encouraged to replace competitive races with “problem-solving” exercises for their sports days.

Teams were also encouraged to perform tasks in rotation rather than compete directly with each other.

England is hosting the 2012 Olympics, which the government hopes will spur interest in sports. National Lottery money will fund the sports initiative.

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  1. A lack of sports competition isn’t limited to England. The traditional sports day at my younger kids’ ES was re-designed while they were there. The whole school was still divided into two teams (carefully chosen for equality by the PE teacher) which did compete against each other in a large variety of activities – baseball, football and soccer throws/kicks for accuracy, for distance, soccer dribbling for speed and accuracy, push-ups, sit-ups etc, various running and jumping events etc.. The change was THAT NO CHILD COULD RECEIVE MORE THAN ONE RIBBON, no matter how many events he/she actually won or placed. One kid, who actually won 9 events, still received a ribbon for only one; other kids were given ribbons for his other events; as if the whole school wasn’t aware of who REALLY won and placed in each event. It was such a farce that my kids refused to participate the following year; I was equally disgusted and called to say they were sick (I’m sure the school knew better) and we spent a fun day at the pool.


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