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Children should enjoy playing sports, but not lose competitive edge

Readers join in the discussion on Facebook, on the news that the Ministry of Education (MOE) will be reviewing the National School Games competitions for primary school pupils (“More students get to play, but parents question if National Schools Games move is necessary”; Jan 25). While most supported the move, some say children who are not top performers will still be labelled, or they will not learn to survive in competitive environments later.

Children should enjoy playing sports, but not lose competitive edge

Torch bearers Ong Xue Ling Kassandra (Wushu) and Lincoln Forest Liqht Man (Gymnastics) are seen holding the torch during the National School Games Opening Ceremony on January 24, 2018. Photo: Koh Mui Fong/TODAY

Readers join in the discussion on Facebook, on the news that the Ministry of Education (MOE) will be reviewing the National School Games competitions for primary school pupils (“More students get to play, but parents question if National Schools Games move is necessary”; Jan 25). While most supported the move, some say children who are not top performers will still be labelled, or they will not learn to survive in competitive environments later.

Life is about competition. Competition makes us work harder, reach greater heights and improve. Nowadays we have parents mollycoddling their children so much that they are even afraid of using the word ‘losing’. CLIFF SEAH WEN JIE

It is the same as the EM1, EM2 and EM3 streaming in schools, which was changed because it labelled the children... So having first tier, second tier and so on for competitions, what’s the difference? A student saying, ‘I am the winner of the third tier’, is as good as an EM3 student saying ‘I top my EM3 class’. CHERYL WL

More children will grow up with a sense of entitlement. You are not good enough, you get better — not create B, C, D, E, F leagues for them. What will be next? A voting system that allows the most popular loser to regain a spot in the later stages? The enabling has to stop. ERYK LEE

Ultimately, sports is about promoting a healthy living, nurturing friendship, building team spirit. Not everyone can be on the school team and end up a naional player. Too much emphasis on competition is unhealthy. FAITH ARDY

Sports is about friendship, building personal relationships, teamwork and enjoyment. It’s about building a love for sports as a lifelong activity... to keep us healthy. Why are we so focused on winning? In the 1960s, inter-class games allowed my classmates to bond. There was team spirit and we enjoyed the competition, irrespective of the final results. FREDDIE KEE

Sports is about competition... If parents want just play time with no stress or pressure, that’s not sports but recreation, like a weekend golf trip. CALVIN YONG

The truth is: Singaporean parents just want their children to stop playing sports and study. They’re secretly hoping their kid’s team gets knocked out. KYLE LEUNG

It’s a good change. It provides more opportunities for more kids to compete. Why do some of those parents object to it? MEIJUN HUANG

The parents want more competitive games. But the Government wants to make it less competitive. I’m with the parents here. FABIAN TEO

Learning how to handle victory and defeat is part and parcel of growing up. The real world is a competitive place, like it or not. Better to have children learn how to deal with it in school, than later in their lives. WONG KOON YIN

Let them take it slow, develop, and win the more important competitions later in their lives. Don’t need to be so competitive at primary school. Peak so early, for what? LEANDRO NGO

The tier system is a good system. Those who are competitive play with the competitive. Those who are less competitive play with the less competitive. It’s been practised in open tournaments... basically it’s a tested and proven system. SALLY SALI

Super, MOE. Should have started long ago, but better late than never. KING NO

I think it’s a fantastic idea. More exposure and more time to play. It would be great for teachers to emphasise that winning is not everything. Sometimes you win, and sometimes you lose. Most importantly, one must try their best to win in an honest and fair play. BEN CHONG

If they really wish not to stress primary school students over sports commitments, than do away with the Direct School Admission (DSA) programme. Do they know that some parents send their kids to train in sports that are not offered by primary schools just to qualify for the DSA? WAH TAN

*Comments were first posted on TODAY’s Facebook page and are edited for language and clarity.

 

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