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On the eve of World Esports Day (October 23), The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award (DofE) has added esports to DofE programmes.
Ruth Marvel, CEO of the DofE, said: “Esports is one of the fastest-growing activities in the UK and helps young people develop essential skills. 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. 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.”
Queen Mary’s College in Basingstoke runs the DofE and has esports facilities. James Fraser-Murison, Head of Creative Arts, said: “It’s great to see so many young people gaming as part of a team – making friends in a physical format in a facility like this, and also creating and forging brand new friendships with people they’ve never met before. It’s fantastic that the DofE now offers esports as an option for young people. I’m sure it’s going to prove an extremely popular choice with lots of students.”
Before launching esports, the DofE conducted a pilot which revealed that playing esports helps young people develop skills such as strategic thinking, communication, leadership and teamwork while also helping to develop self-esteem and build organisational and social skills.
The British Esports Association (BEA) Head of Education, Tom Dore, praised the DofE for adopting esports into its programme.
“The BEA couldn’t be more delighted that the DofE is now recognising value of esports. Like all traditional sports, it teaches young people many life-enhancing skills. It can also lead to a whole host of exciting education and career opportunities, not just within the global esports industry, but also wider digital, creative and STEM based industries,” Mr Dore said.