Pressure to win 'turns children into sports cheats'

 
Stumps Cheating at cricket included claiming to have caught a ball when it had bounced

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Two-thirds of UK children feel under pressure to cheat at sports because of a "win-at-all-costs" culture on the playing fields, a survey suggests.

A quarter of the children questioned for the survey thought team mates would cheat frequently if they could get away with it.

Ninety per cent of the 1,002 eight- to 16-year-olds said their team-mates felt pressure to win while playing sport.

More than a third said they felt no remorse at winning by cheating.

The survey for the MCC and the Cricket Foundation charity found as many as one in 20 of those questioned said they were proud to have arrived at victory dishonestly.

Yet about half said they would have felt angry or frustrated if they lost a game because of cheating by the other team. And one in five insisted that their teammates had never cheated.

'Fouling and diving'

The majority of children said they felt the pressure to win came from other children and their teammates, while a smaller number said the pressure came from parents and teachers.

Examples of cheating cited by the respondents to the survey included tripping up or fouling people, diving and or hitting other players with hockey sticks. Other tricks used to win included not running the right number of laps in cross-country races.

Wasim Khan, chief executive of the Cricket Foundation, said: "It is a real concern to us that so many youngsters struggle in this 'pressure cooker' to win at all costs. We teach children the importance of playing sport competitively and fairly whilst also respecting the rules and the opposition."

The chief executive of the MCC, Derek Brewer, said: "This survey highlights the pressures children feel under when playing sport. With this backdrop it is vital that children are taught the importance of playing sport in the correct spirit."

The children were questioned by Opinion Matters in February and March.

The results come several weeks after the education secretary for England announced plans to increase the amount of competitive sport played in school, and at an earlier age.

The Cricket Foundation runs the Chance to Shine initiative, which aims to encourage the playing of competitive cricket in state schools.

 

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  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 541.

    What are you wittering on about? What reality will we be changing through not knowing when you're beat pumping steroids into you're body and dropping dead of a heart attack and 25 because you'd win at any cost? Cheating at school?

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 540.

    And this is exactly why I don't play team sports, Judo, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and Badminton for me. No pressure from other people, no relying on other people, no carrying other people. That way, I know my successes were off my own back. I don't have people getting angry at me for making mistakes, I only have myself to blame.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 539.

    So, winning is all. Take the money and run. Greed is good.

    Thank you, Thatcher.Carry on, Cameron.

    Losers, who cares? They lost, no problem.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 538.

    537 SR from EG
    Totally agree,the only floor in your cunning plan/wisdom is that there are millions who don't care about the long-term health/survival of their "culture",country or indeed planet,as long as they prosper in their own lie or life span!
    All of which correlates with their actions & thinking,ie me,now,result!,in sport,business,& personal life!

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 537.

    #207 your message has been high lighted just to show how wayward people think these days. Any culture that promotes or accepts cheating 'as part of life' won't be around for very long as it will implode.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 536.

    If you can't win, then form a coalition with another competitor who is so desperate to win that between you can take out your shared competitor and achieve your desired result. and act as if you won anyway.

    Two birds, one stone and screw the rest of you.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 535.

    533 MCGibbo
    Sorry you feel like that,let me check,524 again, as part of your post you said "people need to learn their own limits","and realise you cant be the best"that's my whole point,you never realise!!,that way you extend your present limits/reality,rather than that's it,it's over,and the graph stays put,"not learning"means reality has a theoretical chance of changing/improving!

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 534.

    You make me sound like I don't batter people fair and square on xbox or ps3. Or that I've never got past the first 8 bars of Wonderwall or some other simple tune because there's too many strings on a guitar man.
    You don't need to cheat.

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 533.

    @532, then they aren't your limits are they, why do you want to change the words? I feel like you're trying to put words in my mouth.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 532.

    530 MCGibbo
    They are related to your quote,simply apply any sport to replace the words "discoveries,events,achievements"
    Point is,many match's,tournaments etc were/are won by NOT excepting your "limits",but discovering your new limits,which as said,are not actual limits!!
    Unfortunately however much we both deplore cheating,there are many examples in sport,etc where short/long/ultimate goals are

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 531.

    lets be honest its certainly not the schools encouraging kids.

    None of my schools show any competitive spirit or pressure rather everyone's a winner mentality. You either good at football/ netball or your not.

    There is no pressure to cheat.
    Sadly schools have no idea how to foster competitive spirit and identify real talent and skill.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 530.

    @529, I'm not sure I follow that. What have discoveries, etc, etc got to do with the competitive spirit in sports. I wasn't making a sweeping statement about life. Pushing yourself is all well and good but if it's going to give you a heart attack, stroke or turn you into a cheat...

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 529.

    524 MCGibbo
    Unfortunately/fortunately the quotes "people need to learn their own limits""bending rules is no way to achieve a goal", Maradona not only got a goal but the ultimate goal,not by bending but clearly or not so clearly breaking them!
    Not in anyway defending cheating,but their are many extraordinary discoveries,events,achievements,which relied on not knowing or ignoring your own "limits"!

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 528.

    When called to the great scorer above he won't ask whether you won or lost but how you played the game.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 527.

    Our country/world is in a state-due to people controlling us that have bogus credentials. Nothing new under the sun....ecclesiastes.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 526.

    Do they know of any school that teaches achieve your aim by any means possible? Thought not. All you can do is teach your kids to do their best through hard work, study and application, whether that is academia or sport. Without competitiveness we would not have progress in any walk of life. As for blaming Thatcher, fair enough as long as you believe cheating did not occur prior to 1979.

  • Comment number 525.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 524.

    @523, I think the problem is when people are competitive but lack the actual skill to win, people need to learn their own limits and realise that you can't be the best at everything, you'll be lucky if you're the best at anything.
    I believe the spirit of the law should be followed, bending rules is no way to achieve a goal, it's just means you'll end up with even more unattainable goals.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 523.

    520. MCGibbo
    "I think where I went wrong is that I didn't blame Thatcher or the Tories!"
    Well just take that as read - saves characters.
    There is an issue however as to how to be honestly competitive & how we persuade those who are not competitive not too cheat to achieve the status/riches of the successful &/or cheaters.
    Is it enough to be legal, or should one also obey the spirit of the law?

  • rate this
    +4

    Comment number 522.

    "Play up, play up and play the game." This used to be the ethos in sport in Britain. Sadly now it appears to be "win whatever the means or cost" An unsavoury state of affairs when children are made to feel worthless if they don't win at sport. A sign of the "rugged individualist" times we live in. Parents should be preparing children for occasional and eventual failures. Failure's valuable too.

 

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