Participation trophies – Are they bad for our children?

20 August 2020

Over the past decade or so there have been numerous articles of a particular kind that have been doing the rounds. These articles claim that participation trophies are a waste of time, or that they are meaningless because, as a writer in the opinion page of the New York Times wrote in 2016, “they are handed out like candy.” 

Let’s take a closer look at what this article is saying

The writer of the article played sport all her life and as a child received dozens of trophies, ribbons and medals.  Regarding her stash of awards she makes the observation: “They do not mean much to me because I know that identical awards sit in other children’s rooms all over town and probably in millions of other homes across the country.”  She goes on to state that, “Trophies used to be awarded to winners, but are now little more than party favors….when awards are handed out like candy to every child who participates, they diminish in value.”  The article’s most damning assertion is that participation trophies “convey an inaccurate and potentially dangerous life message to children: We are all winners.”

But could there be another way of looking at this?  What, after all, is wrong with everyone feeling like a winner of some kind?  The key words here are “of some kind”.  From our experience of providing trophies for club sports, and the feedback we get from clubs, the participation trophy doesn’t fool any child that they are the best player when they are not; the participation trophy does not convince any child that that they won the race when they didn’t. Children know a lie when they see it.  The role of these awards is to acknowledge the child’s unique role in the team; in this way the awards are actually unique as each child is unique.  The article assumes that we live in a world where there are winners and losers, it assumes that we all ascribe to this belief that if you don’t win at something you lose, which is far from the predominant ideal that we hold in our business and that we see held dear in Australian society; the ideal being that if everyone “has a go” and gives their best then they contribute to what makes a team, and by extension to what makes a healthy society. 

We are sure the author of the Times article likes recognition herself, let’s face it we all do in some way or other. A participation trophy is recognition of being part of a team or event/season.  A kid shows up every week, runs around tries their guts out and a participation trophy is the child’s memento of being part of something big, something that adds character and a very healthy experience to the child’s life. When you run the city to surf, no matter how old you are, you get awarded a medallion at the end of the run. Perhaps some people toss it in the bin but we bet a very large proportion of finishers cherish the medal as a memento of personal achievement and participation in a physical healthy momentous event.

We are Moving to Chipping Norton - March 2019

October 2018

It's official! After 60 years in the one location, Premier Awards is moving just down the road to 25 Alfred Road Chipping Norton. It's a bit of an emotional departure from the old main road Milperra address but "the times they are a changing". The business, owned by Geoff for the past 30 years, has provided all sorts of trophies right across Australia from the Milperra Factories, but they have grown too small, too old and we have gotten our socks wet too many times. 

So we are on the move over the bridge to Chipping Nortons Alfred Road into a fresh new building more than twice the size. WeE are going from 350sqm of inefficient space to 800sqm of modern industrial space so we will be able to provide excellent products and services into the future.

Stay Tuned.

New Promotional Products Website

January 2018

Our new website for promotional products is now up and running. It's a place where we showcase a huge selection of promotional products and merchandising items such as Pens, Lanyards, USB sticks, Fitness bands, bags and much much more. There is also a large selection of apparel displayed on the website that encompasses both sporting and corporate wear.

Check it out: www.premierpromo.com.au

New Responsive Website

June 2017

Our new responsive website is now up and running and we would love to know what you think. Please feel free to email us at sales@premierawards.com.au to let us know. Some sweet new features are:

  • The site has a fresh new look that reflects who we are and the creative dynamic of Premier Awards.
  • The sites gone mobiole friendly so now you can drool over the site on any devise. (actually I think I'm the only one that drools)
  • The testimonials section that tells you what our customers reckon and the category pages show related customers
  • Our Favourites section has been updated. When you see the hearts on the pages it means we love you, oh and also it means "click on me if you like me and I will be placed in a favourites list that you can access on the top right hand corner of the screen
  • Check out the video section at the bottom of the home page. It shows you videos of "What we've been doing" which serve as an nice overview with music about the kinda stuff we do to give you the big picture of our services. It also shows you any media stuff like when Andre Rieu was presented with the Violin Trophy we made.

We are busy tidying up the site with new images and slideshows etc and the new range is just about ready to go up so stay tuned. Thanks for reading up on us and we hope to assist you with your project soon.


New Mimaki Digital Printer

1st April 2014

Our new top of the line digital printer is well and truly bedded down and running brilliantly. With our new wider print bed we can print anything with high quality delightful clarity, even round objects. We use our digital printer for high quality full colour, PMS matched imprint onto Crystal, Glass, Metal, Wood, Stone, well actually absolutely anything. It's all part of our Commitment to provide the right solution for your needs. The Japanese made Mimaki is renowned for it's high performance and efficiency. Things we print with it is glass and crystal trophies, Acrylic trophies< timber trophies, USB flash drives, compendiums, all forms of promotional products, signs, industrial labels, leather, and much more.


World Surfing Championships Trophies

28th February 2014

We were approached by the event manager of the ASP World Surfing Championships Presentation event to supply the trophies. Their regular supplier was unable to supply the renowned traditional cups (out of stock) and with only 1 month to the presentation on the gold coast we swung into action. It is no easy feat to replicate big ornate metal cups within 30 days but our man in India came through big time. With only a photo to go by and less then four weeks to delivery our trusty manufacturing partner started plying his trade to produce eight world class sports trophies just like the previous years trophies so as to uphold the tradition of the Association of Surfing Professionals.

Our daily follow up was met cheerfully with "do not worry sir, we will make best quality and hope to deliver on time" Ok we weren't too keen on the "hope to" bit but we new we were in dedicated and skilful hands. With progress images along the way the trophies were completed on time and on the bumpy road from Mominabad to New Dehli to Sydney to the Gold Coast. In tight situations like this there is no better choice of courier than FedEx. They always deliver and their tracking system and customer service is excellent.

With the presentation dinner on Wednesday the cups were tracked to FedEx Alexandria base on Sunday were we put a hold on them so that first thing Monday Sarah could pick them up from the depot and bring the babies to the factory for checking, engraving and re-packing before overnighting to the Gold Coast. With 25 Years experience in trophies, it's what we do - make it happen and make it happen on time.

Congratulations to Mick Fanning and Carissa Moore 2013 Surfing World Champions! Congratulations to the team from India to Sydney for making it happen.

Read about it on ABC News

See our Surfing trophies Gallery here

Take a squiz at our Elite Sports Page