Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Selection of Young Ones

A gymnastics club in Malmo in the south of Sweden has been critizised in the last couple of days, because they do a selection and chose only the best five-year-old children to participate in artistic gymnastics in the club. There are people who believe that there should not be selections among children who are so young. The city of Malmo may reconsider their monetary grants to the club. Representatives of the club say they do not have enough resources for every child to participate, and believe that the selection at this age is better than selection at a later age.

I do not understand the critique. Pups are selected for certain humans based on probability of success later in life at the age of eight weeks, when they leave their mothers. Pups also participate in dog shows with unofficial competitions from the age of four or six months and official competitions from the age of nine months. Even if you take into account that one dog year roughly equals seven human years, selection among pups starts earlier than the selection of these children in the gymnastics club, and nobody thinks there is anything wrong with this.

If all children would always be able to participate, the less talented would still realize that they are not as talented than other children. They would not be as good as other children participating, and they would, of course, recognise this. In what way would that be better for their self esteem? I believe it is better if the children with less talent for gymnastics gets the chance to do something else, that suits them better, than to give them false hopes. They certainly have other talents that can be cultivated instead, giving them better self esteem.

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