Today it is with enormous pleasure that I host Glenda McIntosh who has been dying to write a post and to see what kind of feedback she gets so please let her know your thoughts. Glenda’s Twitter handle is @PGUK which is the official Twitter feed for the Proud Sponsor of Mums and Olympic sponsorship campaign, a round of applause please for Glenda….
Sports day? I dreaded it. Those who know me will be surprised to learn that I didn’t like the competitive nature of it. Or perhaps it was more that I didn’t like competing in something I was rubbish at. School sport, for some reason, was not my thing. I was last to be picked. I came last in the race. I had uncool trainers. One time I almost took Miss Bloomfield’s head off with the discus (by accident I hasten to add.)
The parent’s race. Ugh. On the rare occasion my Dad showed up (different post!) he embarrassed himself and me. You can’t see, but I’m blushing at the memories.
Sports day: Let’s ceremoniously reward the naturally sporty people for doing what they’re good at and further compound the depression of those who suck.
More regularly I hear that schools are moving away from the idea of winners and losers. I hear of kids being given medals for taking part or events being included to cover a broader spectrum of abilities. The 11 year old failure inside of me brightens at the thought of this.
I was talking to a colleague of mine a few years ago about the activities our kids do. Her two girls were both keen table-tennis players, a hobby she proactively encouraged having enjoyed national success at it herself. We both agreed hobbies were a good idea but debated the pros and cons of competitive sport. “They have to learn how to lose Glenda” she said. That has stayed with me ever since. She’s right. Life is full of winners and losers, in love, work, friendship and many of the pursuits our children might grow up to attempt, including the parent’s race. I don’t like losing and I never learnt how to accept it graciously as a kid. It’s been a steep learning curve at work and I can’t help feeling I would much rather have learnt those lessons in childhood.
Should we protect them in childhood against the things which are going to befall them as adults?