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Many children 'are put off by competition in sport'

23/04/2014 Joanna
A new survey has revealed many children would be happier if the competitive element was removed from sport and there were no winners and losers.

Children aged between eight and 16 years old were asked for their opinions on school sport. While 84 per cent of the children believed winning was important, almost two-thirds said they would be relieved, not bothered or happier if sports were played for fun rather than as competitions.

These attitudes contrast with the views of parents, who are keen to watch children play to compete against each other - some 22 per cent said they would have less interest in watching school sport if it was not competitive.

Children are aware that their parents have such an attitude to support, with 39 per cent of them saying their parents would be less interested if there were no winners or losers.

Marylebone Cricket Club and charity Chance to Shine published the findings after conducting a survey of 1,000 children and 1,000 parents.

"It is worrying to see that so many children would be relieved to see competition removed from sport," said Wasim Khan, chief executive of Chance to Shine and a former Warwickshire cricketer.

"We want to teach children the importance of playing sport competitively and fairly and for them to see the benefits that it can bring to their lives."

The charity is launching an initiative to encourage children to play sports in such a manner and will deliver assemblies and lessons to 420,000 children in 5,500 state schools.

According to the respondents, the days of the pushy mum and dad are far from over, as 97 per cent of parents and 86 per cent of youngsters thought some mothers and fathers are more concerned about winning than their children.

In February, the education secretary revealed primary schools would continue to receive a £150 million per year funding boost as part of the government's plans to promote sport in education.

Posted by Harriet McGowanADNFCR-2164-ID-801714321-ADNFCR
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