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There have been a number of controversies surrounding school sports days in recent years, many of which have been publicised by the media.Some schools have abolished or heavily altered sports days on the grounds that they are too competitive and may damage pupils' self-esteem, with some commentators calling for the event to be banned due to the public humiliation caused to those children who are not gifted athletically.And we wonder why we lag in international education rankings?
Sports day, called undōkai (運動会) in Japanese, is usually held on a Saturday or Sunday in Japanese schools.
During weeks preceding the sports day, students practice their events which they would like to show their parents and friends, within their class of physical education, which often includes tamaire, performances by the school band and presentations by various school clubs as well as individual and group competitive events.
The Olympic Committee is tasked with organizing the large-scale nationwide activities that are held all over Qatar, and include a wide variety of sports such as; football, basketball, tennis, marathons, open walks, as well as regional sports such as camel riding.
Other venues of sports day include Aspire Zone, Katara, The Pearl, among others.
“They have days when teams dress up in Hawaiian clothes or pajamas just because—‘We’re the soccer team! (To protect the privacy of Jenny and other students in this story, only their first names are used.)By contrast, in South Korea, whose 15-year-olds rank fourth in the world (behind Shanghai, Singapore, and Hong Kong) on a test of critical thinking in math, Jenny’s classmates played pickup soccer on a dirt field at lunchtime.
They brought badminton rackets from home and pretended there was a net.
These practices, and the sports days themselves, normally take place on the schools' fields, which provide little relief from the heat and sun.
Some schools have responded by scheduling their sports days during cooler months and by encouraging their students to drink water regularly.
In June 2005, Country Life magazine published a report claiming that school sports days have become excessively competitive due to overbearing and "over-zealous" parents, who place too much pressure on their children to succeed.
The report also revealed that many schools have banned "mothers and fathers" races due to fighting and cheating.