The traditionally outdoor-focused Duke Of Edinburgh’s Award has added esports as a Skills activity that young people can complete.
The Duke Of Edinburgh’s Award (DofE) is a youth programme that includes volunteering, physical, skills, expedition, and residential sections. These sections combine to create the award. The award has been updated to allow young people to use esports as part of their skills section.
In a press release, the Duke Of Edinburgh’s Award CEO Ruth Marvel 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.”
Marvel added, “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.”
FIFA 22. Credit: EA Sports
Queen Mary’s College is in Basingstoke and runs the DofE award scheme. They have their own esports facilities for their student. Their head of creative arts, James Fraser-Murison, 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 adding the new option for the Skills section, DofE conducted a pilot, which found 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.”
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