Why the Obsession With Competing?

11 07 2011

Up and down the country children and adults alike are fretting over school sports days. Sources of worry are diverse: will Jack be allowed to win every race again? Will Ruby’s trainers be up to scratch? Will Liam be able to stand the humiliation of losing? Are children being damaged by competitive sports days? Should there be a prize for everyone?

Our school Sports Day was firmly in the competitive camp. As a child, I was able to run at a perfectly reasonable speed unless it was a race, at which point I would go into slow motion, the ground would turn to treacle and I would barely be able to lift my legs. The notable exception to this was when racing my brother – a highly competitive and extremely undignified affair. Needless to say, I was last in every race at every Sports Day and Swimming Gala for my entire school career.

My parents were not amongst those who provided blue tack for the egg and spoon race or those who turned up with running spikes and mowed down Katie’s dad the year he was trampled in the fathers’ race, neither did they have me training for the sack race in the garden every night, while my mother looked on with a stop watch.

Read more on the Huffington Post…

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