Today starts the Summer term and quite soon our Primary school newsletter will state the date for Sports day.
The children love sports day and look forward to finding out which teacher is their team leader. Parents and grandparents come to watch the fun, and that’s what it should be, a fun day.
School sports days usually run smoothly but apparently that’s not so for kids sport in general,
When the cricket charity Chance to Shine did a sport survey of over 1000 children aged 8-16 45% said the bad behaviour of parents made them not want to take part in sports.
Children involved in the survey spoke of a Dad punching the ref and another reported seeing a mother smash a car window after the opposing team scored. I am sure these particular occurrences are rare but shouting from the sidelines certainly isn’t.
Our eldest works in the world of football and often attends Junior matches, he said parents shouting at their children from the sidelines can be quite negative and puts extra pressure on a youngster.
I have also seen it first hand, taking our younger boy to his football matches, watching a friend of ours screaming at his son, telling him to drag the opponents shirt, showing no gamesmanship at all, which often led to cheating through fear.
This year the Chance To Shine charity will visit 4500 state schools to deliver assemblies and lessons to encourage competitiveness and the importance of playing sport in the correct spirit, playing hard but playing fair.
Wasim Khan, Chief Executive of the Chance to Shine cricket charity said, “It is a real concern to us that so many youngsters struggle in this ‘pressure cooker’ to win at all costs. We teach children the importance of playing sport competitively and fairly whilst also respecting the rules and the opposition.”
So as training begins, let best behaviour be upheld on the day, and hopefully we have none of the usual pushing and shoving tactics in the Dads race.