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Compulsory school sports carnivals should be banned


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#51 Mmmcheese

Posted 10 August 2019 - 03:39 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 went to a school where we could choose from year 8 onwards. I wish I had of done more science and history. I was too influenced by peer pressure to make sensible choices at that age. (Yes, could have gone back later... But I think there's something about exposing kids to lots of ideas when they're younger...)

#52 ponky

Posted 10 August 2019 - 03:39 PM

My DS's school sports day are compulsory to attend but you don't have to compete.

You have the choice of what events you want or not want to be in.  

But you have to attend to support your House (faction) and be involved in the spirit of the event.

My DS is not sporty at all but always goes in one or two events.  Last year he tried hurdles, came last but he said I don't care at least I gave it a go.  This year he is doing javelin and shot put.

#53 RuntotheRiver

Posted 10 August 2019 - 03:46 PM

There are lots of things our kids have to do, like debating, talking at assembly... things outside their comfort zone. Isn’t that the point, for them to grow. They may never be a public speaker or a sports star but who cares? When you leave school no one asks if you won the 100m sprint or came last.

#54 Jane Jetson

Posted 10 August 2019 - 03:47 PM

View Postpurplekitty, on 10 August 2019 - 03:31 PM, said:

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.

It's the methods, though, not the sport itself. We're all going to be bad at something, might as well get it over with.

While my adolescent self would have been gleeful if science, maths, English, history or language had been taught like sport - some freaking vengeance right there - my adult self thinks that would be appalling. What's needed is to teach sport in an inclusive way which doesn't humiliate, and that's entirely possible, as my kids' schools have proven to me.

#55 born.a.girl

Posted 10 August 2019 - 03:47 PM

View Postpurplekitty, on 10 August 2019 - 03:31 PM, said:

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.

Many of the comments also don't recognise the kid who feels like a fish out of water in the classroom, day in, day out.

Sometimes one of your deficits means you can't even look like you're good at the things you're meant to be almost gifted at.


ETA: She went to sports day because she enjoyed it, despite never winning anything. She skipped every swimming carnival because she loathed it.  She spent enough time battling her own issues as school to need anything to teach her you can't be good at everything.

Edited by born.a.girl, 10 August 2019 - 03:51 PM.


#56 WTFancie shmancie

Posted 10 August 2019 - 03:48 PM

My experience of primary school sports carnivals back in the late 60s/early 70s was so different to my DDs experience in the 2000s.

I remember lots of team events - tunnel ball (with those heavy old leather medicine balls), captain ball etc.  We would get our teams together months out from the sports carnival day and practice until we were like well oiled machines!  If you could get a team together (preferably all the same house - but not required), then you were a starter.  The seniors coached the junior teams and got them up to scratch.

Tug-o'-war teams attracted lots of kids.  

Also three-legged race teams and other novelty races practicing each recess and lunchtime for weeks beforehand.

It was much more of a 'carnival' atmosphere than what I saw at DD's primary school carnivals - where the kids had often been screened at school so only the best were competing in the field events and most kids were only allowed to do their 100mt age race, and then sat cheering on for the rest of the day.

#57 Ozquoll

Posted 10 August 2019 - 03:52 PM

View PostMmmcheese, on 10 August 2019 - 03:39 PM, said:

I went to a school where we could choose from year 8 onwards. I wish I had of done more science and history. I was too influenced by peer pressure to make sensible choices at that age. (Yes, could have gone back later... But I think there's something about exposing kids to lots of ideas when they're younger...)
Equally though, I know people who were pressured into ‘harder’ subjects by their families, who regret not studying art, music or drama. There’s no perfect system - some people will regret their own choices, others will regret that their choices were taken away from them by family or peer pressure.

#58 Ozquoll

Posted 10 August 2019 - 04:00 PM

View Postpurplekitty, on 10 August 2019 - 03:38 PM, said:


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.
‘Tolerated’ is a bit more moderate than ‘hated’ 😉.

I have googled a bit for stats on mature-age students completing Science degrees. I think the info is on the Higher Education Statistics section of education.gov.au but the files are too big to open on my mobile phone. I will fire up the laptop later and see if I can find some hard numbers. Anecdotally, I can say that my sister, in her mid-40s, did bridging courses in maths and Bio (and possibly Chem?) to gain entry to her degree in Nursing, which she is more than halfway through.

#59 Meepy

Posted 10 August 2019 - 04:01 PM

If schools stop sports carnivals, they will then be blamed for contributing to the obesity problem. Sports carnivals at schools give some kids an outlet they need at school and their chance to shine. Without the extra curricular activities school would be very boring.
Not all kids enjoy them but it gives students a chance to get out of the classroom for a day.

#60 archyandmehitabel

Posted 10 August 2019 - 04:02 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.

Because a like is not enough.

My particular bugbear is swimming carnivals. My DSs had to attend all day swimming carnivals and sit around doing nothing for 6 hours. They got to be in one heat and then that was it. They hated it, even though they like the pool and beach. There was no room for kids to play in the water so hundreds sat around sweating in February unable to get cool, while sporty kids did multiple events.

Total waste of time.

#61 Expelliarmus

Posted 10 August 2019 - 04:08 PM

There are some posts making me seriously twitch, and twitch hard. So many things ... so much ... misunderstood ...

I should probably stop there, lest I get on my education high horse.

*wanders off trying not to lose the plot*

#62 Ozquoll

Posted 10 August 2019 - 04:09 PM

View PostMeepy, on 10 August 2019 - 04:01 PM, said:

If schools stop sports carnivals, they will then be blamed for contributing to the obesity problem.
Research shows school sports/PE don’t reduce obesity in the school age population.

#63 annodam

Posted 10 August 2019 - 04:09 PM

My kids have always attended, sometimes reluctantly, sometimes enthusiastically.
Last 2yrs I’ve pulled DS out of Cross Country due to Asthma & the cold weather.
Haven’t had to pull him out if Athletics or Swimming yet but that’s only ‘cause the weather has been decent.

I wish plays & musical performances outside of school hours were banned, I don’t care though, we never turned up on the night anyway so...

#64 AxeTheMax

Posted 10 August 2019 - 04:12 PM

Primary school I made my Kids go because there was usaually fun activities not just the competition events. My kids High school however I find very different, and I leave the choice to them.

I have no sporting ability what so ever! And most of my carnivals I remember was a horrible experience, and I will never forget how it felt to have the whole school laughing at me and teachers not caring.

I have always said the day they make every child do public speaking in front of the whole school every year (it was the only thing I ever got a trophy for) is when I would support compulsory sport carnivals.

#65 Meepy

Posted 10 August 2019 - 04:20 PM

Oz quoll, agreed. But schools will get blamed for not providing sports activities anyway as they seem to be blamed for not correcting all of society's problems.

#66 ~J_WTF~

Posted 10 August 2019 - 04:22 PM

View Postborn.a.girl, on 10 August 2019 - 03:47 PM, said:



Many of the comments also don't recognise the kid who feels like a fish out of water in the classroom, day in, day out.

Sometimes one of your deficits means you can't even look like you're good at the things you're meant to be almost gifted at.



For sure. One small thing is at least in the classroom, your results generally aren’t on show for the school to see like they are on a sports day.

As a PP said we aren’t writing marks on the board of the classroom for all to see. You can hide somewhat in the classroom, not so much in a sporting event.

#67 RuntotheRiver

Posted 10 August 2019 - 04:27 PM

Many school subjects are compulsory,  up until year 9, sport is one of many.

Obviously if a child has needs, beyond just not wanting to do it, that is a different issue.

#68 born.a.girl

Posted 10 August 2019 - 04:29 PM

View PostMeepy, on 10 August 2019 - 04:01 PM, said:

If schools stop sports carnivals, they will then be blamed for contributing to the obesity problem. Sports carnivals at schools give some kids an outlet they need at school and their chance to shine. Without the extra curricular activities school would be very boring.
Not all kids enjoy them but it gives students a chance to get out of the classroom for a day.


One day a year isn't going to prevent obesity.  Kids running around and being active on a regular basis is more likely to prevent it.

Let the kids who want to be competitive at sport do so.  Just don't make it compulsory.

#69 babylove69

Posted 10 August 2019 - 04:34 PM

You don't need to write everyone's grades on the board to still have a fair idea of who are the A grade and F garde kids, if not every person.

And oral English or other subjects are pretty much graded in front of everyone. Drama? That was compulsory in Year 8 for me, ugh hell on earth!!

Compulsory attendance and participation as long as the environment is encouraging and inclusive, for me.

As someone who was both naturally sporty and smart BUT deathly anxious. My kids are too young to tell what they'll prefer at school yet

Edited by babylove69, 10 August 2019 - 04:34 PM.


#70 RuntotheRiver

Posted 10 August 2019 - 04:36 PM

Kids do know how each other are going academically.

Edited by RuntotheRiver, 10 August 2019 - 04:38 PM.


#71 Lucrezia Borgia

Posted 10 August 2019 - 04:42 PM

yeh at our school you have to attend, but it’s up to you what races you go into. from memory it was like that too when i was at school, although maybe we had to compete in the younger years. i’ve probably blocked the memory. i think i worked out early on in the piece  that if you run fast in the heats, they’ll make you run again, so.....


#72 ~J_WTF~

Posted 10 August 2019 - 04:44 PM

View PostRuntotheRiver, on 10 August 2019 - 04:36 PM, said:

Kids do know how each other are going academically.

They think they do but it’s not quite as obvious as little Johnny or Jill always sucking at running races or swimming or long jump or high jump though.

#73 Lees75

Posted 10 August 2019 - 04:45 PM

View PostExpelliarmus, on 10 August 2019 - 04:08 PM, said:

There are some posts making me seriously twitch, and twitch hard. So many things ... so much ... misunderstood ...

I should probably stop there, lest I get on my education high horse.

*wanders off trying not to lose the plot*
C'mon, you know you want to!

I like the way our primary school and high school have run the various events.

At our primary school, attendance is compulsory. They run sprinting, heats and finals, which are not compulsory, but then everything is else is groups activities to score points for your house. They get uni students who are studying exercise sports or PE teaching to come and help out, and it seems like all the kids have fun, whether sporting or not. The local football players come and run events (like aiming to kick a football in to the teacher's face - always a popular event!)  They hire a jumping castle for junior primary; and the PE teachers often dress up.  
But I think they really focus on making it an inclusive style event, as much as possible. They get the kids to event chants and cheers for their house, and give house points for all sorts of things, not just sporting prowess.
The teachers vs Yr 7 tug of war is always a big high-light, that the whole school stops and watches.

At high school, the sports day is a bit more serious, with all the typical track and field events, held at Santos Stadium. Kids have to participate in at least one event, so they generally run 2 heats for the 100m. One heat for those trying to qualify for SACSSA/SASSSA events and another heat for participation points, where there are all sorts of dressed up kids who skip, run, crawl, cart-wheel their way to the end. For kids who really don't want to participate, they are given a job, such as time-keeper, shot-put measurer, etc.  

Cross country is compulsory, but they are allowed to walk it. And there are teachers all along the track who seem to somehow get roped in to all sorts of interesting photos with the kids - another popular afternoon event - the majority of kids would rather walk along the Torrens River with their friends than be stuck inside at school.

#74 Heather11

Posted 10 August 2019 - 04:51 PM

View PostMeepy, on 10 August 2019 - 04:01 PM, said:

If schools stop sports carnivals, they will then be blamed for contributing to the obesity problem. Sports carnivals at schools give some kids an outlet they need at school and their chance to shine. Without the extra curricular activities school would be very boring.
Not all kids enjoy them but it gives students a chance to get out of the classroom for a day.

That's not what they are actually advocating though.  It has not been suggested that schools stop sports carnivals altogether but more so stop it being compulsory or have less competitive aspects to the day.

At the schools my children have attended, both primary and secondary, plus the ones I have worked at there have always been novelty events.

In high school it is compulsory to attend but not participate.

#75 kimasa

Posted 10 August 2019 - 04:58 PM

My primary school sports carnivals were fun. Not serious at all. Tunnel ball, skip a thons, points for cheering. I remember one year there was an elastics competition and another year where a few groups could perform dances. The grade 6's always did a "dress up relay" which was the highlight. I've never been athletically inclined, but I owned that elastics competition, and in grade 6 I was so so excited for that dress up relay.

High school was horrible. It wasn't compulsory to compete (with everyone screened beforehand), but was compulsory to attend, and heaven forbid you talk to your friends or bring a book or a discman or my personal favourite, your homework. You would be completely berated by the teachers, "LOOK AT THE GIRLS ACTUALLY PUTTING SOME EFFORT IN TODAY, SHOW THEM SOME RESPECT!!!!" A lot of detentions handed out on those days, I don't think I had a single athletics or swimming carnival without getting one. Which actually reminds me that Ms.Trembath never gave my copy of Ring back.

Edited by kimasa, 10 August 2019 - 04:59 PM.





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