It’s sports day but not as we know it

Carterknowle Junior School, Bannerdale Road. Picture: Andrew Roe
Carterknowle Junior School, Bannerdale Road. Picture: Andrew Roe
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So it’s sports day. The children have been looking forward to it for weeks. They’re in teams representing countries of the world to reflect the Olympics, great. They have to wear clothes the colour of the flag of their country, great.

But hang on, the flyer from school says sports morning. What happened to sports day? Must be the cuts.

There are various stations around the school yard and field, shoot a goal, dribble the ball etc. But hang on, no one’s counting, no one’s scoring, no one’s winning.

I ask the member of staff who’s in charge of our group “Who’s keeping score?” “No one” she answers, “We do things differently now.”

What is the point? I know some people think competition is bad for children but really? On sports day? Sorry, sports morning.

So they’re just taking part, no one’s winning. It’s a glorified PE lesson. Hang on it’s not even PE, they’ve just been asked to run down the field doing animal impressions. Still not a race though. Don’t worry no one won. Phew.

Parents begin to leave aghast at the farce this is.

I could stomach it if it wasn’t for the hypocrisy of it all. No competition in sports but prizes and awards and certificates are handed out for 100 per cent attendance, for being a good learner, for reciting your times tables and goodness knows what else.

But no winners in sport. What about those children that flourish on the sports field? How are we supposed to find the next Jessica Ennis? Well, you won’t find her at Carterknowle Junior School, that’s for sure.


D Smith

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