Sports day: that end of term sporting spectacular that separated the fit and the fat- unfortunately I always fell in the latter category. Despite this, as I sat today “helping out” at my old Primary school’s sports day, I had nothing but happy memories of it.
Perhaps this is because the sports day at a Primary school is somewhat different to that at high school. At High school you could expect high jump, long jump, shot put and all lengths of running races. In comparison at Primary school you have the egg and spoon race the sack race and throwing a bean bag in a hoop. Sure there were relays and a long distance running (300m), but on the whole you feel it has a far more relaxed vibe.
I suppose another reason my Primary school sports days have good memories is because everyone was involved, not the select few in each house that were best at it.
So far I have presented High School sports days as a bit of a rain on my parade but to be honest it wasn’t really, although frequently it did physically rain. In all of High school I did one race but we did all get the afternoon off and so we sat, ate ice-cream, cheered on our friends and just generally had a great time- once I even got my hands on the PA system.
For me sports day was always a treat: sun (at least through rose tinted spectacles), food, lying on a grassy banking chatting with friends. For others though there is only dread connotated with the words “sports day”. They hold a fear of last place, of slipping up, of letting people down or just of being bored but to those people I say cheer up. If you lose so what no one will remember about 5 minutes later; if you fall over in a race make a joke about it and move on and if you are bored make a daisy chain and eat an ice-cream. You have an afternoon off be happy.
I may be being a bit brash in my response there but hey there are far worse things in life, you could be sitting in French which coincidentally I got a D for. Life is too short to be grumpy for a day every year, make the most of it “live as though you will die tomorrow”.
Now although up until this point I have presented my sports days as very relaxed there was a very high level of competitiveness, you always want to win. Sure its the taking part that counts but it makes it all the more memorable when you win. My house a Primary won quite frequently although sadly not when I was house Captain. At High School I’m fairly certain my house won every year, or maybe there was one year we didn’t… I have vivid memories of the cheering from the side lines, boy we could shout. I witnessed that enthusiastic cheering today but unlike when I was younger they were cheering for all the teams, I think they may have been instructed to, but it was still rather sweet. It really brought to town the whole everyone’s a winner concept. I was however glad to see that the winning team still do the lap of honour with the cup, some things never change.