The Duke of Edinburgh Awards were established as a youth development program to promote young people and assist them in developing skills that would prepare them for the workforce of tomorrow. The program has now officially recognized the sport of esports.
“Esports is one of the fastest growing activities in the UK and helps young people develop essential skills,” said DofE CEO, Ruth Marvel. “DofE has a proud history of evolving our programmes to reflect the changing interests and needs of young people, so I’m delighted that, following a successful pilot, we’ve added esports to the DofE Skills list.”
“DofE is all about helping young people develop themselves, so they have the skills and confidence to make the most of whatever life throws at them,” she continued. “Setting yourself challenges and mastering new skills is core to the DofE experience and esports provides a structured and safe way to do this, while also being a lot of fun.”
DofE researchers conducted a pilot program as part of their study for this decision, and the results revealed that esports may assist students to improve their strategic thinking, communication, leadership, and collaboration skills. Also beneficial are the enhancement of one’s self-esteem, as well as organizational and social abilities.
“It’s excellent that the DofE is now offering esports as a viable alternative for young people,” said James Fraser-Murison, Head of Creative Arts at Queen Mary’s College. I’m certain that it will prove to be a very popular option among a large number of kids.” The DofE program is administered by the college, which also has esports facilities.
The British Esports Association was also pleased with the decision, with Tom Dore, the organization’s Head of Education, stating, “The BEA couldn’t be more pleased that the Department for Education is officially acknowledging the benefits of esports.” It, like other traditional sports, teaches young people a variety of life skills that are beneficial throughout their lives. The development of esports may also open the door to a plethora of interesting educational and employment possibilities, not just inside the global esports business but also in the broader digital, creative, and STEM-based industries.”
You will not, however, be recognized for just spending the whole day with your team and playing video games on your computer. Activities like as working for a cause of your choosing, completing a physical challenge, organizing and completing an exciting expedition, and participating in a residential trip are all required in order to be eligible for the bronze, silver, or gold DofE medals.