THE competitiveness of sports day will never leave us; broken hockey sticks, broken egos and broken bones are all signs of striving for better and encourage our youngsters to push themselves in the name of jolly one-upmanship.
Apparently, in two-third of schools, pupils can no longer ‘win’ on sports day. On reading this, our hearts sank lower than when Alana lost the egg-and-spoon in Primary 2 (the rope WAS too tight and the grass was definitely uneven).
Firstly it, once again, cements the theory that only academia is measured and, therefore, fully celebrated in schools. The budding young artist has their work mounted on the wall alongside the rest of the class and the promising sprinter must run but not actually ‘win’.
However, his classmates who can retain information and splash it onto a page in an hour’s test get certificates and ‘competitive’ university entries to reward their talents.
Secondly, where is the buzz of excitement as the starting line rope is laid out?
Yes there are winners, and as a consequence, sore losers, but why ignore all the friendships made and bonds strengthened?
Lisa met her dearest friend on the hockey pitch at age 11. She was launching herself full throttle towards her with a sweat-drenched fringe and a look that had only been seen on Dennis the Menace, but a lifelong friendship blossomed regardless.
This week we went to watch one of our childhood buddies, Jillie Cooper, compete at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
The swell of pride as a spectator and her lifetime commitment to her sport were all fuelled by the oils of achievement and competition.
We cried, we yelled, we unsettled our heart rates for weeks, all in the name of contest (music swells) in the name of our country and in the name of a young woman who gave up all her teenage years and early adult life to a sporting career.
After the game, she categorically stated her badminton success was built on all our rivalry and drive for sports at school – there is still ferocious debates on who won the 20 laps of the school fun run.
Why are we protecting our children from failure? We need to fail to build us back up, dust our little knees off and stick a Peppa Pig plaster on our grazes.
Yes, sport should, on the whole, stay fun and not be an arena for humiliation. But we’re never going to create our future generations of sporting heroes by giving them all the same coloured token ribbon and patting them on the back.
THE Fringe kicks off this week and we want to get in there first with our top picks. You heard it here first.
• Four Screws Loose In the Big Screw Up – August 1-7, 9-25, Assembly, Bosco Tent, George Square.
• David Elms: Nurture Boy – August 1-10, 12-25, Pleasance Courtyard.
• Phil Wang: Mellow Yellow – August 1-24, Pleasance Courtyard.
• Joel Dommett: Finding Emo – August 1-24, Laughing Horse @ The Counting House.
• Frisky and Mannish: Just Too Much – August 1-7, 9-17, 19-25, Underbelly Bristol Square.
• Luisa Omeilan...Am I Right Ladies?! – August 1-9, 11-16, 18-24, Laughing Horse @ a The Counting House
• Laurence Owen: Lullabies of Pervland – August 2-3, 5-10, 12-17, 19-24, Fingers Piano Bar.
• Divallusion with Christina Bianco and Velma Celli - August 1-21, Assembly Checkpoint