Yes, it’s that time of year, sports day season is upon us. We attended our first sports day this year. BB is in reception, at this age it’s all about the activities and encouraging the children to have a go, all very non competitive. BB actually didn’t just have a sports day, he in fact had a sports week! He had been excited about it, telling us that he had been practising jumping and yurdling (he meant hurdling). There was the classic egg and spoon race, sack races, long jump, throwing bean bags in hoops and so on. BB was very non committal about the whole thing, so much so he kept ignoring me and J who were busy cheering him on from the sidelines. He gets a little coy on occasions like this. It was lovely to see him join in though. They finished with a sprint race, and at the end of every activity they all got stickers. BB was very pleased to have acquired 10 of these. The sports day finished with the obligatory Dads race and Mums race. The Dads were fairly competitive, running so fast that they skidded at the end, one man knocked a toddler flying at the end in a kind of forward roll manoeuvre. I think however that the Mums were even more competitive, again running so fast at the end that I had to move out the way swiftly before I was taken out. Unfortunately I was wearing flip flops, and could not participate, shame.
This all reminded me of my school sports days. In primary school I quite enjoyed them, there were the races where you ran with quoits on your head, sack races and general running races, they were more competitive as I remember. I quite enjoyed running then, and wasn’t too bad at it, it was fun. Sports day definitely got less enjoyable as I got older, at middle school I remember running 200 metres, I was in the lead, when I turned round to see where everyone was and they all ran past me. When I got to the finish the teachers shouted at me and asked why I had stopped mid race. I had no idea I had, they certainly weren’t encouraging, and I just felt silly. I never joined in on sports days again. At that time in our middle and senior schools you could choose if you wanted to join in with certain races, so I chose not to as I just became too self conscious.
It seems (though not having got to this stage yet) that sports are taught and encouraged differently now, in a time where kids can and do watch too much TV and play computer games. I think it’s important that sport is enjoyable for all kids. Sure some will like certain sports more than others and some kids may not be quite so natural at certain things, but how wonderful to just be able to have fun and enjoy what you’re doing regardless of the outcome.
I hope that BB and LP will enjoy their sports days and remember them with fondness. How were your sports days? I’d love to hear your stories.