​Should School Sports Day Be Competitive?

14/08/2014 16:52 | Updated 22 May 2015

​Should school sports day be competitive?

Last week I had the pleasure of going to two sports days.

Boo and Lou's was the first one. At their school they don't have a traditional sports day, where there are children taking part against each other.

Instead they have a selection of different activities which they lay out on the playground, and the parents take their child (or in my case, children) around to each activity, in no particular order. The children then participate in that activity and get their card signed when they have finished.

It's a bit chaotic.

They also give all the children a certificate to say they have taken part in the sports day, regardless of how well they did in the activities.

My problem with this is that I don't know how they are supposed to learn that sometimes they will win and sometimes they will lose.


Surely learning to accept defeat is a very important life skill. After all, if you got a certificate for everything you did, regardless how well you did at it, we'd all be qualified to do anything we want.


A traditional sports day

Woo's sports day was much more of a traditional event, which I enjoyed a lot.

They have races, sack races, hurdles and much more.

They have four 'houses' at the school which the children are encouraged to contribute to building up their house points during the year.

At sports day, they are divided into their 'houses' and compete against each other. They finish the event by having a tug of war, and this ends with a final and an eventual winner.

I really do think that this is a much better way of teaching children that, in life, sometimes you will win and sometimes you will lose.

It doesn't do children any harm to learn that not everything will always go their way. I do believe that they will grow up more content if they learn this from an early age.

What do you think? Should children learn to accept defeat?

Dawn is a stay at home Mum to an 8-year-old boy and 5-year-old identical twin girls. She blogs about her life in a slightly chaotic house with three small children.

Twitter: @dawnie0503


Suggest a correction