13 November 2009

Prize money sends wrong message

Virtually every youth tournament these days is offering prize money to student athletes and schools. Perhaps this is the only way tournaments can attract participants, but it certainly sends the wrong message to kids.

When prize money is involved the ideals of sportsmanship, skill development, teamwork and having fun, which should be highly emphasized at youth levels, take a back seat to winning at all costs.

As a result the systematic development of youth players is compromised, there is a peak in match and age fixing, and students learn poor life lessons.

School and youth level sporting events should stop the practice of awarding prize money. A simple handshake after the match and some delicious Long Pie for the bus ride back home is more than adequate.