Sportsmanship - behaviour that is fair, honest, and polite in a game or sports competition
It’s that time of the year again and most schools are preparing for the annual Sports Day. As with every year, this event will be accompanied by the differing opinions of parents, grandparents and teachers as to how one should address this day. And perhaps more importantly how we should be preparing our children for it.
The first thing to consider is the school policy and how they intend to run the Sports Day. If you are in any doubt ask to have a chat with your child’s form tutor or perhaps the PE department. Very few, if any, schools will put any kind of pressure on your child to participate, however your child should be encouraged to join in. There can only be one winner in a race – so the question is should that child be the only one to win a prize/medal/certificate or should everyone win something for participation. Should our children be encouraged to compete in a, let’s face it, competitive world or should we nurture and encourage their self-confidence by limiting their disappointment?
It’s hard to comfort the child who is alarmed by the mere prospect of Sports Day and equally as difficult to make sure your sporty child doesn’t become too caught up in winning that they forget the good sportsmanship skills you have attempted to instill. And perhaps some parents should remember this on both Sports Day and other sporting events when children are involved. It’s one thing to have a healthy interest in winning the mum’s race and as for the Dads – well that’s an interesting one for everyone, Dad’s who have taken the morning off of work and are already suited and booted right the way through to the Dad who has been in training for the last month and has brought his special running shoes complete with go faster stripes!