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Last Updated: Friday, 24 June, 2005, 00:31 GMT 01:31 UK
Pushy parents 'ruin sports days'
Sack race at school sports day
Are sports days as much fun as they used to be?
Overbearing parents who shout at children and fight over who wins mothers' and fathers' races are ruining school sports days, a survey says.

Country Life magazine, which studied 25 schools, found that families no longer "sit back, relax and enjoy the day".

Parents' races had been banned at 17 institutions because the competitors were "over-zealous", it said.

Some parents were accused of "spoiling" events by putting too much pressure on children to succeed at events.

'Neurotic attitude'

Pleasant egg-and-spoon and sack races were a thing of the past, the magazine found.

Editor Clive Aslet said: "The only point of parents' races, in those days, was to embarrass the parents.

"Nowadays, some parents have a highly competitive attitude to life and are neurotic about their children succeeding at everything they attempt. It is spoiling the whole thing."

Families were not reported to be relaxed at any of the schools.

At one, the parents' race was stopped four years ago because it had become too competitive and there was a risk of injury.

Cheating had also gone on during some events.

Comments were sought from junior and senior schools in both the private and state sectors.

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