Is there a lack of continuity between the government’s and national governing bodies’ narrative on competition in children’s sport?

Mott, S., (2015) Is there a lack of continuity between the government’s and national governing bodies’ narrative on competition in children’s sport? Undergraduate thesis, University of Chichester.

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The aim of this study was to explore the difference in narrative between the National Curriculum and National Governing bodies’ guidelines on how competitive sport and Physical Education should be for our young children. As the Department for Education has recently changed the National Curriculum’s focus to incorporate more competition (Department for Education; 2013) and many of our nation’s favourite sports governing bodies’ have introduced recent guidelines to lessen competition (The FA, 2012; The RFU, 2015; England Netball, 2015; Basketball England, 2015), the main purpose of this study was to understand the implications of an incongruent message between Physical Education and external club sport.Using semi-structured interviews from participants comprised of teachers, coaches and representatives of the government and a sporting governing body, the data was collected and analysed using qualitative methods. The interviews aimed to understand if there was a true difference in narrative, by gaining an understanding of the practitioners underlying beliefs and opinions on competitive physical activity amongst young children, as well as an understanding of what they were delivering to their children and participants on a practical level.The main findings of this project were that there was an underlying difference in narrative between schools and external sports clubs and the legitimate reasons behind this were then explored. The opinions of teachers and a government Member of Parliament echoed the narrative of the national curriculum; that Physical Education should be competitive amongst young children to build character and teach them life lessons such as winning and losing. The opinions of coaches and a sport governing body representative were that sport should remain relatively uncompetitive amongst young children to best help them learn and develop and to protect them from unnecessary competitive stress.However this difference was not described when teachers and coaches explained what they delivered to the children on a practical level. When describing their PE lessons and coaching sessions, it seemed that all incorporated a level of competition whilst refraining from fostering an ‘ultra-competitive’ environment. Therefore whilst the practitioners seem to echo the narratives of their organisations, more research is needed to truly understand what children are experiencing on a practical level. This research project shows the difference in narrative has transcended to teachers and coaches; now we must understand if this transcends to children on a practical level.

Item Type: Thesis (Undergraduate)
Additional Information: BA (Hons) Physical Education and Teaching (QTS)
Subjects: L Education > L Education (General)
Divisions: Departments > Physical Education and Sports Coaching
Undergraduate Dissertations
Depositing User: Ann Jones
Date Deposited: 21 Oct 2015 11:22
Last Modified: 21 Oct 2015 11:22

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