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About the Video Clip:

Video Clip Synopsis:
Georgina Parkes and Lisa Forrest are competing together in the 1982 Commonwealth Games in Brisbane. The loser, Georgina Parkes, struggles with her disappointment.

2min 23sec

The Pain of Coming Second is an excerpt from the film We Both Want To Win (24 mins), an episode of the series Striving (8 x 25 mins), produced in 1984.

We Both Want To Win: The goal is to win Commonwealth Games gold medals for the women’s 100m and 200m backstroke events. We follow two top contenders, both Australians: Georgina Parkes and Lisa Forrest. Their approaches to the impending confrontation are different, reflecting the training methods of their coaches. The rivalry between the girls is intense and culminates in the final - where there is a winner... and a loser.

Striving: This series takes a close personal look at 11 athletes preparing for and competing in the Brisbane Commonwealth Games in 1982 in an effort to understand what makes people suffer enormous physical and emotional stress to become top world athletes. They come from diverse backgrounds but all share a drive to win. Why do they do it? Each athlete tries to explain. They discuss their early involvement in sport and their reasons for striving to become the best. Families and coaches talk about their part in preparing and motivating the athletes to win.

Striving was produced by Film Australia.

Study Module

Curriculum Focus: Health/PE
Year: 7-8
Strand: Health and Physical Education
Theme: Health Work

Key Concepts

Competition; Team sports; Rules and coaching

Curriculum Applicability Notes

ACT:Health and Physical Education: Physical activity and the community
NSW:Health and Physical Education: Interpersonal relationships, Movement skill, Active lifestyle
NT:Health and Physical Education: Enhancing personal development and relationships, promoting individual and community health
Qld:Health and Physical Education: Developing Concepts and skills for physical activity 6.1, Enhancing personal development 6.1
SA:Health and Physical Education: 4.1, 4.5
Tas:Personal futures: Maintaining wellbeing
Vic:Health and Physical Education: Health of individuals and populations 6.1, Self and relationships 6.2
WA:Health and Physical Education: Knowledge and Understandings; Skills for physical activity; Interpersonal skills – Late adolescence

Context / Background Information

Although winning and losing is part of organized sport, our culture often bombards us with messages that winning is everything.

Professional sportspeople, who are often our role models, are in it to win. It is different for amateurs and children, where having fun, getting exercise and learning social skills are just as important.

For children, the focus on outcomes rather than performance can be detrimental. When children lose, some may feel like a failure and perceive themselves to have less ability than others. Children should learn that they do not have to win in order to have a successful performance. High effort and the accomplishment of personal goals can provide a sense of success for the child.

Well-prepared athletes will handle their performance and the performance of their competitors in a positive and sportsmanlike manner. A losing outcome does not negatively impact the athletes' confidence if the coach and athletes have been successful in developing a winning attitude.

Discussion Pointers

  1. Discuss what it feels like to win or lose at sport.
  2. Discuss the impact of winning and losing on an individual sportsperson compared with a team sport.
  3. Discuss the terms ‘good sport’ and ‘bad sport’.
  4. Discuss the saying: “it doesn’t matter if you win or lose – it’s how you play the game”.
  5. Is coming second losing?

Suggested Classroom Activities

  1. Before watching the video clip discuss the types of sports people to do. Why do some people prefer non-competitive exercise such as jogging to playing a competitive game?
  2. What is the role of an award ceremony at the end of a game or competition?
  3. Write down how you felt when you lost a game or competition that you thought you were going to win.
  4. Write down how you felt when you lost a game or competition that you did not expect to win.
  5. Develop your own personal strategy for dealing with your emotions when you lose.
  6. Role play a ‘good sport’ and a ‘bad sport’.
  7. Research the athlete John Landy. Why is he considered a fine example of a good sportsman.
  8. Research the ‘ugly parent’ syndrome.

Modules That Use This Clip

Health/PE Year 7-8, English Year 7-8, English Year 9-10