Hoping my evidence has made a difference


The House of Commons Education Select Committee recently released its final report for its inquiry into School Sport and the Olympic Legacy. I submitted written evidence to the committee based on my understanding of the policy and academic literature. I only got a brief mention in the final report, but I am hoping the inquiry will have a long-term impact on the opportunities for children to be active without being pressurised into a fun-sapping, competitive sport focus. I am mentioned in paragraph 26 of Volume 1 of the report:

“26. The emphasis on competition in school sport was not universally welcomed. Will Parry, from the Department of Quantative Social Science [sic] at the Institute of Education, argued that “competitive sports have limited appeal to many children and promoting them above other forms of participation is likely to be counter-productive in terms of promoting life-long participation”. Sports Leaders UK recognised that “for many, competitive sport is as much a disincentive to participate as an incentive”. A similar point was made by a number of other witnesses, including the Local Government Association, Sport and Recreation Alliance, Youth Sport Trust and the Rugby Football Union.”