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February 10, 2007


Noosa Lee

Great piece Dave.

Jane Henry

It's not only male teachers who ignore the crap ones - our PE teacher regularly referred to those like me at the back of the pack as the duffers.

I agree in principle about not all sport having to be competitive (my eldest does cross country and like her mum is really slow, but was quite happy not to be in the team because she just wants to be fit)

However, the NONSENSE of sports day at our infants school is that, the kids are split into groups of ten and either in the blue or white teams. They do ten activities, blue going one way round the field white the other. Usually about halfway round one team is ahead. Three quarters of the way round they're roaring ahead, and yet, miraculously at the final event its either a draw (and the kids KNOW they've been conned), or worse, one team wins by five points (having been five thousand ahead earlier)...
We don't do our kids any favours by saying everyone is equal, no one ever wins. One they see through it, and two, life isn't like no one's going to be that kind to them in the real world.

Funnily enough I blogged about this very issue...


What a great post you have written!

I was forced to play rugby (at a school in Australia), yet nobody -- nobody!!! -- ever explained the rules to me. You were somehow expected just to know the rules, or to have learnt them before starting school at age 5. Then, if you were as clumsy and as incompetent at hand-eye-foot coordination as I was, then you were always the last student selected for teams by your peers, or by your teachers, you were never passed the ball, you were mocked and laughed-at and bullied and bashed and ignored, and you had a completely miserable time, the whole time, every time, every sports day. In the end, you just played truant on sports afternoons, at the same time as you were winning national mathematics competitions, leading the school orchestra and editing the school magazine, all things I did.

As an adult, I have managed project teams of hundreds of people, I have written investment prospectuses which raised billions on NASDAQ, and I have earnt my clients millions in increased stockmarket value. Not a single thing I have done as an adult has ever benefited positively from the sport I was forced to play at school -- except to make me completely cynical about organized activities of any sort, and of the people who order the rest of us to do them. I would walk a long way, and spend a lot of my own money, to end the vile practice of compulsory school sport once and for all.

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