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Compulsory school sports carnivals should be banned


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#26 purplekitty

Posted 10 August 2019 - 12:52 PM

View Postred_squirrel, on 10 August 2019 - 12:44 PM, said:

How do they work out the causation on this?
I would hazard a guess that the unco kids were not going to participate in sport as adults whether they attended a carnival or not.

This is the ‘everyone gets a certificate’ thinking that leads to incompetent adults. They are not doing the kids any long term favours.
Different types of sports.
Sports carnivals are about running,jumping,hurdling in front of a crowd.

Adults can play low key team sports,tennis,squash,jogging,golf,walking etc.

#27 Riotproof

Posted 10 August 2019 - 12:53 PM

Our school has compulsory attendance, but not participation.

I’m fine with that. Ds takes entertainment for himself and extra snacks.

Apparently the high school doesn’t care if kids attend or not.

#28 WaitForMe

Posted 10 August 2019 - 01:05 PM

I hated PE but I actually found sports day to be fun - much less pressured than actual lessons.

You'd sign up for a few events, go do your bit, often with only a handful of kids there to witness, then soak up the sun on the edges of the oval with your friends. Then at some point they'd announce the winners, I think just the top 3 names, and whatever team colour won.

Even sprints, where there is a clear winner on the spot, was done in heats so it was just you against a handful of other kids.

Things like long jump, I think you just wandered over at your time, lined up, did a few jumps in your group, then off you went.

What I REALLY hate is the ridiculous "sports" evening that DD1's school does. Its outsourced, its nothing but silly games, there is literally zero score keeping, ridiculous loud music and a random house colour wins at the end.

#29 mpoppins92

Posted 10 August 2019 - 01:07 PM

The school I teach at they have to attend but not compete. We have the silly events and cheering and games and it’s fun. We have a huge push at school about a healthy lifestyle and daily physical activity so this is another event that fits in. I work in a town with an alarmingly high rate of diabetes and obesity.

And although there are exceptions for the most part all people in life have to sometimes just do stuff they don’t love.

#30 Mollyksy

Posted 10 August 2019 - 01:08 PM

View PostJBH, on 10 August 2019 - 12:14 PM, said:

I made a speech in year 9 advocating for a choice between entering the competitive events, or running in a large group untimed/placed fun run with the goal of keeping people active. The sporty kids got it once I said a competitive carnival was like writing everyone’s maths marks in order on the board for all to see.

Your year 9 self was spot on! I vote this option.

#31 Jane Jetson

Posted 10 August 2019 - 01:19 PM

My inner childhood self is absolutely boggling at me for even thinking this, let alone writing it, but no, I don't think compulsory participation should be banned, any more than the non-academic kids should be always excused from exam time.

What I'd like to see is two things: a focus on safety, and on participation.

These are what were missing from my own school carnival experiences, and what are very much present at my kids' events, whether at the primary or the high school where DD1 started this year.

Safety: My childhood self divvied up areas and experiences as either "safe" or "not safe" depending on whether there were adults about, what sort of intervention if any they might perform if somebody decided to beat up the kid with Coke-bottle glasses, and whether bullies tended to be present. So the library was "safe" while the school bus was "not safe". Sports and swimming carnivals were among the most "not safe" venues there were. This is not the case with the kids - it's not a chance for bullies (there really don't seem to be that much in the way of real bullies, honestly, just the odd disagreement) to roam freely.

Participation: As outlined above by PP and in the original article, a lot of the time a sports carnival will be a great opportunity to be humiliated in front of your peers not only for being crap at something, but for being crap at something that (at my schools at least) was considered the most important thing to be good at, and for everyone to have a go at you, teachers included.

The kids' experience couldn't be more different. The DDs are not as unco as I was, though they're never going to be sporty. DD1 is unco, neither of them pay attention, and they're both titchy, so they, like me, tend to come last. They get cheered, same as the others. Nobody gives them a hard time. The teachers don't yell at them. Hey, DD2 even got a merit certificate once for getting in there and doing her best - came last that time I think.

So no, you don't need to ban compulsory participation; you need to ban abuse and have decent supervision. Simple, and it works.

#32 Melbs2010

Posted 10 August 2019 - 01:33 PM

I loved sports as a kid so my feelings are no doubt biased.  But haven't we been reading article after article lately saying kids need to be allowed to fail and be bad at things. Yet here it's suggesting we stop compulsory sports so kids don't have to feel bad about not being good at something.

Because there are plenty of other compulsory activities at school that those who excel at sport will feel humiliated or as though they are terrible at it.  I still remember being forced to do drama and school productions and with my singing and dancing skills believe you me I felt humiliated by it!  

Watching my son's cross country event a few months back (admittedly primary school) all the kids were encouraged no matter where they finished in the race.  All of them were made to feel proud for getting the whole way around the course.  Perhaps that changes in high school but I also recall the kids who truly loathed sport tended to stay home on sports carnival day or just sit and watch.

#33 red_squirrel

Posted 10 August 2019 - 01:36 PM

Sports carnivals are a good opportunity for to learn that sometimes you need to endure things you don’t like.

Is there a move to make all aspects of schooling a positive experience? If so this is wrong.
It will just create people who can’t cope with any hardship in life. Teach kids to toughen up.

#34 Mmmcheese

Posted 10 August 2019 - 01:43 PM

View Postred_squirrel, on 10 August 2019 - 01:36 PM, said:

Sports carnivals are a good opportunity for to learn that sometimes you need to endure things you don’t like.

Is there a move to make all aspects of schooling a positive experience? If so this is wrong.
It will just create people who can’t cope with any hardship in life. Teach kids to toughen up.

Bootcamp for all!

#35 IamtheMumma

Posted 10 August 2019 - 01:45 PM

The teenage me who was humiliated by a sadistic cow of a PE teacher, likes the idea. As a parent, I'm against them because of the lack of shade. I don't force my kids to participate in sports carnivals.

#36 ~J_WTF~

Posted 10 August 2019 - 01:46 PM

I actually think schooling should be a positive experience considering it’s a pretty important part of life.

I didn’t know this was such an out there concept!

#37 Mmmcheese

Posted 10 August 2019 - 01:52 PM

View Post~J_WTF~, on 10 August 2019 - 01:46 PM, said:

I actually think schooling should be a positive experience considering it’s a pretty important part of life.

I didn’t know this was such an out there concept!

J-wtf, don't you know that will turn them all into a bunch of marshmallow snowflakes who will melt at the hint of adversity. The only way to toughen up kids is through humiliation. Tried and tested and has worked for generations. You don't see any of the older generations walking around with a backpack of unresolved emotional baggage now do you?

#38 Datrys

Posted 10 August 2019 - 02:37 PM

My memories of sport at school is basically of a constant experience of humiliation; generally low-level, sometimes acute.  It's a big part of why, as an adult, I don't exercise in front of other people, which doesn't make exercise easy or enjoyable.

So I look at it and say - what's the benefit?  Do I see school sport as actually building healthy habits for a lifetime?  Essential life skills?  Generally, no.  I think a lot more of the stuff that sticks around healthy lifestyle physical activity comes from outside school.  I don't necessarily think this is the way I want to see personal resilience etc fostered, either.

So - negative and damaging experience with no real benefit, and taking away from what I think the main focus of school should be, which is academic.

I don't think participation should be compulsory.  I definitely don't think that kids who aren't participating should have to waste a day at the carnival doing nothing.  I'd be very happy to see it made optional.

#39 Murderino

Posted 10 August 2019 - 02:41 PM

My kids’ sports day is with two other local schools we are small (76 fo us, 50 for another and 20 for the third) so we join up. All kids compete in all events but it is very supportive - there isn’t even competition against the other schools.

At the end of the day male and female age group champions are announced and everyone celebrates the winners - even if the kid is from another school.

We do have a great PE teacher though - my kids are learning the actual skills needed for the sports they play, I never had a PE teacher teach skills, my sisters did that. My teachers just expected we knew how to catch a ball. I was uncoordinated and had no idea - even at 45 my sisters cheer me if I catch something that is thrown to me! I also celebrate!

Our school celebrates the champion chess team as much as it celebrates the champion cross country runners (a couple of kids are in both).

#40 BeAwesome

Posted 10 August 2019 - 02:51 PM

Mixed feelings about this.

I was an average student, that was completely crap at sports at a heavily sports focused school, and hated having to participate and be mocked (the teachers let this happen too).

My eldest is a high achieving in academics and arts, and typically comes last in her grade in any sports activity.  Her school isn't as sports focused as mine was, and I feel it keeps her ego in check a little.  She's happy enough to participate, and gets upset at losing all the time, but gets over it very quickly.  

My youngest is an average student, that's slightly better than average in most compulsory sports events, and likes getting the recognition her sister gets in other areas.

#41 Ozquoll

Posted 10 August 2019 - 03:10 PM

I’m probably outside the Overton window on this question 😏. I don’t believe any part of schooling should be compulsory except for the parts which are utterly necessary for basic participation in society. So, everyone needs to be able to read and write English to a level that allows them to read street signs, understand basic legal documents such as rental or employment contracts, and be able to express their thoughts clearly in writing (a love letter, a letter to their local MP, a complaint to a retailer, a job application, etc). Basic numeracy is clearly necessary, algebra and calculus are not. Some grounding in civics so that people know their rights and obligations as a citizen. Beyond that, I think all other aspects of schooling should be optional.

So sports carnival, drama, history, science, advanced maths, geography and art can all be dropped off the compulsory curriculum as far as I’m concerned. It is quite possible to lead a full life in our society without participating in or knowing a toss about any of those things. The wonderful thing about stopping the time-wasting compulsory activities is that people can then spend more time learning about things they are interested in and have aptitude for. We would have more motivated, satisfied and highly-educated students if we DIDN’T force them to waste a significant minority of their school years studying subjects which bore them, or that they never improve in.

Edited by Ozquoll, 10 August 2019 - 03:11 PM.


#42 YodaTheWrinkledOne

Posted 10 August 2019 - 03:14 PM

My kids primary school - everyone has to compete in at least 1 event. However, for the athletics carnival, there is a 3-legged race for all age groups, as well as an egg and spoon race. For the swimming carnival, there is the "big splash" event (basically each sport house gets points for bodies in the water and making a splash.

One of my children asks every single time if she can stay home that day, DH and I always say no. So far, she has always come home from the day saying she had a fun day (only 'competed' in one event, otherwise hung out with friends).

As someone who was completely useless at sports, I enjoyed sports days. It was a day just chilling, reading my book, cheering when I wanted to and just hanging out with friends. I was always last, I eventually realised no-one cared or took much notice. Plus someone has to come last!

#43 Funwith4

Posted 10 August 2019 - 03:15 PM

Should be optional... i have one child who is not sporty, very unco, has a weird style of running and in fact can’t really run at all (her legs don’t bend properly). She is on the spectrum. Sports carnivals induce weeks of being unable to sleep, stressing, being anxious and actually vomiting as the day draws near. But put her on a stage to sing or act, she is very happy. I sometimes let her have a day off school on cross country day or athletics day. I don’t have to heart to put her through the humiliation and embarrassment. The same way I would never put my other daughter on a stage in front of everyone to sing a song when everyone’s looking, knowing she cannot sing and will be laughed at.

I very much encourage my daughter though and tell her she can do it and she may like it. In the end I can’t make her do it and it’s not worth the sadness to her life.

#44 purplekitty

Posted 10 August 2019 - 03:17 PM

View PostOzquoll, on 10 August 2019 - 03:10 PM, said:

\
So sports carnival, drama, history, science, advanced maths, geography and art can all be dropped off the compulsory curriculum as far as I’m concerned. It is quite possible to lead a full life in our society without participating in or knowing a toss about any of those things. The wonderful thing about stopping the time-wasting compulsory activities is that people can then spend more time learning about things they are interested in and have aptitude for. We would have more motivated, satisfied and highly-educated students if we DIDN’T force them to waste a significant minority of their school years studying subjects which bore them, or that they never improve in.
It's very hard to anticipate where life may lead you when you are young.
Eliminate some of those subjects and you eliminate a lot of careers.

Education for educations sake, rather than targeted vocational training,still has a purpose.
I hated doing some of the subjects I was very good at,the information was ultimately worthwhile.

#45 SleepDebt

Posted 10 August 2019 - 03:18 PM

Sports carnivals .... should still be compulsory (and I hated sports carnivals as a kid).

However cross country .... That should be optional. After watching kids be subjected to cross country the other day, I've decided it is an instrument of torture to make a non fit, non sporty kid run that far and for that long. It reduced many kids to tears. My child is a runner and is fine with it, but my goodness - so many of his classmates were in physical and emotional pain and it was really uncomfortable to watch.

#46 deedee15

Posted 10 August 2019 - 03:19 PM

When you enrol your child in a school, you are agreeing to your child participating in all aspects of school life, which includes sorts carnivals and camps. Not everything will appeal to everyone, but as others have mentioned, it’s about trying something different being part of the community. If they aren’t competing they should be supporting.
I was not sportsy in any way, neither are my kids, but they know they have to give it a go, no one is good at everything.


#47 ~J_WTF~

Posted 10 August 2019 - 03:22 PM

Are you agreeing to that though? School is compulsory, as in you are legally obligated to send your child. That’s doesn’t mean you agree with your child participating in all aspects of it and many children don’t participate in all aspects for many varied reasons. Why do people view sport as a suck it up thing?

Edited by ~J_WTF~, 10 August 2019 - 03:24 PM.


#48 purplekitty

Posted 10 August 2019 - 03:31 PM

View Post~J_WTF~, on 10 August 2019 - 03:22 PM, said:

Are you agreeing to that though? School is compulsory, as in you are legally obligated to send your child. That’s doesn’t mean you agree with your child participating in all aspects of it and many children don’t participate in all aspects for many varied reasons. Why do people view sport as a suck it up thing?
Yeah,I don't know.
Do any posters supporting humiliation of children actually have children who are bad at sport who have endured that, or endured it themselves?

It looks like a lack of empathy.

I would be horrified if the same methods were applied in the classroom.

#49 Ozquoll

Posted 10 August 2019 - 03:32 PM

View Postpurplekitty, on 10 August 2019 - 03:17 PM, said:


It's very hard to anticipate where life may lead you when you are young.
Eliminate some of those subjects and you eliminate a lot of careers.

Education for educations sake, rather than targeted vocational training,still has a purpose.
I hated doing some of the subjects I was very good at,the information was ultimately worthwhile.
Hating a subject you are good at is pretty uncommon though. Most people, most of the time, like doing things they’re good at, and dislike doing things they’re bad at.

I grant you the point in your first sentence, but why on earth should that shut anyone out of a career? Aren’t we always being told that people will have many careers over the course of their working life, and that we all have to be prepared to re-skill and complete further education? If someone didn’t do, say, Chemistry and Advanced Maths in Year 12, they can do a bridging course and proceed on their merry way to a degree in Science. Thousands of mature age students have done just that.

#50 purplekitty

Posted 10 August 2019 - 03:38 PM

View PostOzquoll, on 10 August 2019 - 03:32 PM, said:

Hating a subject you are good at is pretty uncommon though. Most people, most of the time, like doing things they’re good at, and dislike doing things they’re bad at.

I grant you the point in your first sentence, but why on earth should that shut anyone out of a career? Aren’t we always being told that people will have many careers over the course of their working life, and that we all have to be prepared to re-skill and complete further education? If someone didn’t do, say, Chemistry and Advanced Maths in Year 12, they can do a bridging course and proceed on their merry way to a degree in Science. Thousands of mature age students have done just that.
I know lots of people who tolerated many subjects through school.
School was just like a job most of the time,great bits and mundane stuff.

I'd like to see the stats. on bridging courses in Chem and advanced maths translating into success in tertiary studies in courses where they are integral.
The reality is that by eliminating subjects earlier you never take up the options later.
Uni are realising their error their ways and going back to prereqs.




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