I think I am in the minority where it comes to Sports Day. Most women and mothers I know claim to hate it with a passion. I bloody love Sports Day. I loved it when I was at school (primary and secondary) and I love it now that my children are starting to do it. I think I learnt to love running and racing from a flat sprint of about 50m when I was at primary school. The other girls always towered above me but I was quick to prove that it’s always foolish to dismiss the short, scrappy kids.
I was never very good at team sports. I was ok at hockey, terrible at netball and I wasn’t fussed for football. Schools don’t seem to do a lot of running and athletics outside the annual cross country trial and a touch of token athletics in the summer. Most of my running was done outside of school. So when school sports day came round it was my time to shine, to show the rest of the school that this girl had some running in her legs. However there were many more reasons to love sports day.
An afternoon away from lessons.
An afternoon lounging on the grass with your pals while waiting for your turn.
A chance to cheer on people in your class who it turns out are actually quite good at throwing and jumping but who had never been given the chance to show it before.
I was never arty or musical and probably disctinctly average at my lessons. I never fancied getting up on stage and acting in the school plays or demonstrating my woeful dancing skills in assembly. Sports day was a day for me to get my chance to show what I was good at and I relished every moment of those afternoons because I got to do something I loved. Seriously, if I had been allowed to go for training runs during my P.E lessons or at lunch time I would have!
Luckily for me right now my boys seem to be into running and all things sports day. I had been given strict instructions though not to cheer for my eldest because ‘I might make him stop’. So with every ounce of restraint I stifled my squeals on Tuesday afternoon and watched my eldest take part in his Sports Day. My 3 year old boy also got the chance to run a toddler race. He kept on going and had to be stopped by the teacher, he was focussed on the back fence. He’s obviously got my endurance legs. He won his race and my 5 year old got three firsts and a couple of seconds. Running must be in the genes. He was thrilled, as were we but we still emphasised that it doesn’t matter where he came as long as he tried his best. At this age it shouldn’t be about being overly competitive, just the enjoyment of being outside on a beautiful summer day running around with your best pals.