Setting the Goals
School competitions are an established component of physical education in Austria. They should supplement, perhaps also differ from out-of-school sport, growing organically out of teaching and sporting cooperation between schools and clubs. One goal is to create varied possibilities for gifted and enthusiastic pupils to compare performance. Alternatively school competitions are also an opportunity to motivate in the direction of out-of-school sport those pupils who have so far not found their way to clubs. Participation of teachers and pupils is voluntary.
Schools do not stand outside society, on the contrary they draw their characteristics from society and they prepare children for a future life in society. Thus a meritocracy will not be able to forego the endorsement of the concept of achievement in the realm of education but it will be conscious of the ambivalent effect of the principle of achievement.
Competition is an element of physical education but at the same time it is only one element amongst many others and just as the others can not be banished from the realm of physical education. The opportunity to compete is the completion and the expansion of curricular physical education teaching.
Every performance creates pressure for comparison, for competition and, possibly, for individualism. Controlled competition creates an indispensable foundation for the success of a democratic society. The concept of fair play is, therefore, a continuous educational principle of schoolsport competitions.
Careful Selection and Omission
Schoolsport competitions are to be organised in such a fashion that they create meaningful opportunities and challenges which represent for pupils tests of sporting ability and character. A wide area of activities must be offered to catch the interest of the greatest possible number of pupils as must possibilities for self-affirmation and for mastering situations. The competitions must be appropriate to the age of participants, the rules must necessarily be suited to their ability and within their grasp.
Stress on Team Spirit
Schoolsport competitions intentionally differ from federation competitions in that even in individual sports they always stress team spirit. In the team, the performance of all its members and the spirit of cooperation are seen to best advantage.
Hence the principle: a school team consists of pupils of one school (one head teacher). Competition entry conditions both in Austria and internationally should also allow schools to make their own selections. Cooperation with sport federations in the creation, in collaboration with industry and commerce, of additional features is an established component of Austrian schoolsport today.
Participation in competitions within the school framework should be on a voluntary basis. For those who like taking part in competitions it should also be possible to do so within the school framework and thus receive pedagogic guidance and attention.
The school should not allow the opportunity to escape to give correct leadership in this heavily charged situation.
The organisers of a schoolsport event offer to bring pupils together across several disciplines. Different parts of the organisation like for example results calculation, cultural programme, reporting open up the possibility of presenting practice-related schoolsport competitions and becoming actively involved in the organisation.
Involving - enthusing - testing
Schoolsport competitions should provide an enrichment of school life and create an additional opportunity for getting together. They should contribute to health and social education and encourage pupils to participate in out-of-school sport, be it lifelong or in a specific job for sport: the criteria for schoolsport events should be that they are: justifiable in sporting terms, educationally correct, conducive to good health and financially and organisationally feasible.