They learn when they lose

Sport is not just about fitness, but about the valuable lessons we learn when the odds are against us, says Dr Bernard Trafford

Sometimes I think contentious announcements on youth or education are made just to wind up the Daily Telegraph: particularly, perhaps, when they are connected with sport.

About a year ago, the RFU announced that, for young rugby players under the age of 11, there would be widespread tournaments and competitions to develop interest in the great winter game, but as for declaring winners – certainly not. The rationale was that it discourages the losers.

Before Christmas, the FA has done much the same, forbidding publication of results for under-11s. An FA spokesman explained: “The FA places a great deal of importance in ensuring that youth football is played in a positive and fun environment.

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