School sport or school play?

In a recent interview, John Coates,  Head of the Australian Olympic Committee, called for sport to be made compulsory in schools.

The minister for school education,Peter Garrett ruled out making competitive sport compulsory, saying he doesn’t think kids should be forced “out on to a sporting field if they’ve got other interests”.

Unfortunately, Australia’s culture of self worth is largely intertwined with sporting success. This emphasis on success and competition in Australian sport is unfortunately what scares many young children away from sport. Take for example this story, which focuses on how lots of mums are being banned from netball games for abusing the children playing as well as other spectators.

If you’re a parent, remember to encourage participation, active lifestyle, and regular play. Don’t worry about winning or competing, especially if your child isn’t competitive.

Do you have a child who doesn’t like competing? How do you keep them active? Let us know in the comments.


2 thoughts on “School sport or school play?

  1. Having other interests isn’t a valid excuse, some of us are uninterested in maths or english but these are still compulsory. It’s not a question of whether a child enjoys sport or not, but rather how we should be re-creating the way we teach sport to children so they do enjoy it regardless of other interests.
    It is so important for children to be active, and it’s unfair to the kids to be neglecting them of the opportunity to live a learn how to live a healthy life – especially by not making sport compulsory in schools.

  2. I think Active Sydney made an important point about finding other approaches to help kids become enthusiastic about sports! I used to do competitive swimming but quit by the time I got to high school because my dad was one of those fanatics who yelled borderline abusive things. It would be great if schools could help kids find other ways to take interests in physical activities again. s.d

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