Half of pupils see physical violence on school sports field

Written by: HTU | Published:

Children as young as eight are falling victim to mental and physical bullying on the school playing field, research has found.

Children as young as eight are falling victim to mental and physical bullying on the school playing field, research has found.

More than half of children have witnessed physical violence, while two thirds of parents and pupils report seeing verbal bullying in school sport. The findings come from research commissioned by the MCC and the Chance to Shine grass-roots cricket campaign.

A survey of 1,250 children, aged eight to 16, found that seven in 10 see verbal abuse during school matches and over half said they had been victim of teasing, taunts and threats on the sports field.

Also, 55 per cent have seen physical violence, with a quarter of seeing a team-mate who was deliberately tripped, kicked or pushed over.

At the same time, a survey of more than 1,000 parents of children aged eight to 16 found that a majority see varying forms of mental intimidation when watching their children play sport, including teasing, swearing, taunts and verbal threats. A fifth said that their child is reluctant to take part in sport as a result, while one in 10 said that their child had given up at least one sport entirely as a result.

Chance to Shine is a cricket development programme which aims to establish regular coaching and competitive opportunities in a third of state schools by 2015 – reaching two million primary and secondary children.

The programme has teamed up with MCC – the owners of Lord's cricket ground and guardian of the game's laws – to launch the Spirit of Cricket scheme.

The aim is to deliver assemblies and lessons in good sportsmanship to around half a million children in 4,000 state schools.

According to the research, three fifths of children feel unable to tell anyone about the bullying, saying they were “too scared" or that there was “no point".

Go online for more information on Spirit of Cricket and Chance to Shine.

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