PARTICIPATIONS AWARDS: WARRANTED or CHARITY?

PARTICIPATIONS AWARDS: WARRANTED or CHARITY?

PARTICIPATIONS AWARDS: WARRANTED or CHARITY?

I am from the vintage of “There are no prizes for 2nd” It was drilled into me from a young age and became my mantra for a long while.

Is there a place for this in today’s world?

With a current social expectation of equality and fairness, this rationale today seems outdated and antiquated. Recognition brings to a child of any level the following;

  • A sense of reward and achievement
  • The feeling of belonging to a group or team
  • A higher sense of self worth and self esteem
  • Pride amongst family and peers

Surely the above is the mantra or values of most of out sporting bodies & clubs these days. Associations and clubs today play an active role in ensuring the well being of their members are in tact, that they do feel a part of the team, that they are a valued member of that team.

BUT DO THE KIDS OF TODAY KNOW HOW TO LOSE?

The other side of the discussion is with the child that is sitting there at the presentation event at season’s end awaiting their name to be called, to no avail. They didn’t get to experience the elation, their were no cheers and applause for them on this occasion. So what, they weren't good enough on this occasion? They have short falls in their game that need development? Does that child feel disappointment and heart break? Isn’t that a learning moment? Do parents console them on the drive home? Does this feeling of disappointment drive them to improve for next season?

So, what is the role of the increasingly-present participation trophy or medal?

  • Are they a way of saying good try?
  • Are they a cost burden to club?
  • Do they stimulate the self worth button in kids today?
  • Are they dust collectors at home?
  • Are they a tool to inspire & come back next season?
  • Do the children of today know how to fail or fall short?

In 2010 AFL player Peter Moore threw his runners up medal away after losing his 4th Grand Final. The AFL now award the runners up medal inside the rooms as emotions are not as high. So even adults can feel the frustration of not achieving the ultimate or falling short of their goals. But the AFL still persisted and just refined how they are awarded.

Maybe the message is each individual club needs to use the participation awards to achieve their individual club goals.

  3 months ago
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