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 Post subject: School Sports Days
PostPosted: 01 Jul 2016, 12:16 
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I don't remember these featuring much in the Chalet School, but just wondering how many of you have happy memories of them and how many remember them as a humiliating experience.

I didn't mind them as a young child. I was always happy to take part in an egg and spoon, or three legged race and just enjoyed the fun of the occasion.

In secondary school, thankfully, participation was optional and you could just be an enthusiastic cheerer onner if you preferred; also parents weren't invited.

But I know of lots of people who still remember the horrors of being forced to take part in races in front of an audience of parents and being given the sympathy applause when they came in last.

Just wondering what your memories are, and if you think they're a good idea or an exercise in humiliation for the non sporty kids?


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 Post subject: Re: School Sports Days
PostPosted: 01 Jul 2016, 13:20 
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Exercise in humiliation. At least, it probably wouldn't be so bad if it wasn't compulsory to take part. Ugh. Bloody beastly things.

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 Post subject: Re: School Sports Days
PostPosted: 01 Jul 2016, 13:25 
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Rescuing a Junior from the lake
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Thankfully, we didn't have them at secondary school.

At primary school, the juniors' obstacle race included crawling under small chairs from the nursery, which weren't big enough for a great fat lump like me to fit under. To get out of there, I climbed over mine, instead of under. The next day, the teacher told the class how clever I'd been to use my initiative to find a solution to the problem of not being able to fit under the chair, just as if I didn't already feel humiliated enough and just as if there wasn't already enough attention focused on how fat I was.

The highlight of my sporting career was coming second in the balance the beanbag on your head race.

Ironically, I was house captain and my house won the Sports Day Cup that year, so I got to lift the trophy. It was two months after United had won the FA Cup and, channelling a Wembley presentation, I kissed the Cup, held it above my head, and led all the other kids in my house on a lap of honour round the bit of the local park that we used for Sports Day (I was only 10 at the time!). Luckily no-one was rude enough to say to my face that I had a nerve lifting the trophy when the only thing I'd ever contributed to Sports Day was giving everyone a good laugh for being too fat to fit under a chair :lol: .

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 Post subject: Re: School Sports Days
PostPosted: 01 Jul 2016, 14:12 
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Winning the dolls' house
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Joined: 20 Jan 2004, 22:44
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I think I only ever participated in the class race. I can't remember much about them (or maybe I've blanked them out!) but I think we had coloured ribbons to match whichever house we were in pinned to our shirts - in Junior School. And I do remember being embarrassed about having to walk to the playing fields and do sports day in only my Aertex shirt and school knickers. I was glad when we got to the Senior School and could wear shorts over our knickers and a games skirt too! I've a vague idea that Sports Day in the Senior school was a bit of a non-event. I think it was just track racing and javelin and discus but I don't remember going to watch and parents definitely weren't invited.


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 Post subject: Re: School Sports Days
PostPosted: 01 Jul 2016, 15:20 
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They were humiliating for some of us, I agree, Abi.

I never enjoyed them much from the other side, either, as a Junior School teacher! :roll:

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 Post subject: Re: School Sports Days
PostPosted: 01 Jul 2016, 15:52 
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Sports Day was compulsory for the first four years at High School. I am not very athletic so spent most of the afternoon watching other people compete. There were interform relay races and we all had to take part in those. These consisted of a traditional relay plus 2 others devised by the gym teacher. I always ended up in the one for the least athletic girls.


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 Post subject: Re: School Sports Days
PostPosted: 01 Jul 2016, 19:32 
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Hated it in primary school because we had to enter everything and I was always last, except for one year when I came second in the obstacle race and wasn't taken because they didn't believe me that I'd done all the obstacles.

Not so bad in secondary because we HAD to enter two events and COULDN'T enter more than two, so I always picked long jump and welly throw as needing the least effort and spent the rest of the day wandering around minding my own business and avoiding crowds. I was crap at both, of course, but at least they weren't events where groups all did it together and I was last.


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 Post subject: Re: School Sports Days
PostPosted: 02 Jul 2016, 01:40 
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Sports Days always seemed to me essentially pointless.

I could run quite fast but not fast enough to beat the top three runners in my year. Everyone knew those three people would come in the top three so why not just have a race between them? It isn't even as though, at school level, you are going to be scoring a "personal best" timewise. I suppose it might have been possible that one would have been sick or off their game on a particular day but, again, unlike professional athletes, the fractions of a second gained in good starts aren't very relevant.

When I got older and turned out to be a good mid/long distance runner, everyone knew I was going to win - the competition was for second place. So what was the point - especially as I didn't care about it?

And in a way the non-competitive versions are worse because people are naturally competitive. So the team that gets stuck with the "slow kid" will resent it and that child knows perfectly well that that's the case.

I can think of only one case where a genuinely unathletic child won a "Best" award voted for by the members of the school teams. In that case, the child was part of the cross-country team and invariably finished last, sometimes by a long way. However, because the area team award was based on "best 5 finishing times", his school team won as they always had 5 finishers thanks to his being prepared to run on even when others had given up. But if you ask him, he'll tell you how embarrassing ot was to be still running when other people were walking away going home.


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 Post subject: Re: School Sports Days
PostPosted: 03 Jul 2016, 23:28 
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I vaguely remember having fun in primary school, but the only thing I actually remember is the stocks. Throwing wet sponges at the teacher, and then cooling down by having them thrown at you.

Sports day in High School was a different kind of fun - it mostly involved sitting in a field while people did races. I believe there were far more people just lounging about like that than people racing.

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 Post subject: Re: School Sports Days
PostPosted: 04 Jul 2016, 09:14 
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Winning the dolls' house
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I hate sports day at secondary school (I can't remember primary) and I think by the time I got to yr 11 and above I would quietly truant and go home.

As a teacher I still hate them! Although where I work as well as the traditional races we also have 'carnival' games such as arm wrestling, dressing up in inflatable sumo wrestler costumes and hitting each other with what looks like giant cotton buds. I think last year we had a bouncy castle as well.

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 Post subject: Re: School Sports Days
PostPosted: 04 Jul 2016, 10:26 
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Rescuing a Junior from the lake
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I think those are a good idea - the flowerpot races and dressing-up races at the CS always seem like a bit of light relief, and something in which no-one's going to feel bad if they completely mess up.

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 Post subject: Re: School Sports Days
PostPosted: 04 Jul 2016, 11:18 
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Sports Days at my primary were definitely in the not-to-be-taken-seriously category. All of the races were of the obstacle and egg-and-spoon variety. There were first, second and third place awards and consolation lollipops for the rest. Parents were encouraged to come along and join in the parents' race.
I don't remember having any Sports Days in senior school though.

My daughter's school sports days always seem quite chaotic and badly organised and quite boring. Thankfully a hospital appointment this year means I have a legitimate excuse not to attend.

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 Post subject: Re: School Sports Days
PostPosted: 05 Jul 2016, 22:06 
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We had Sports days at both junior and senior schools and parents could come to both. I quite enjoyed the junior ones - think I came second in the wheelbarrow race once. Senior school the best thing was the Ice-cream van, and avoiding my dad, who as a professional sportsman was always asked to award the prizes. Me, I was hopeless at all sports - a fact my PE teachers never failed to drive home. :)


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 Post subject: Re: School Sports Days
PostPosted: 06 Jul 2016, 00:23 
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Winning the dolls' house
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I wasn't good at sports. At secondary school they were optional and I never took part. I don't remember much about primary school sports - only the last year. I went to a very small primary school which had only 100 pupils so quite likely we never had any before.

I do remember our Sunday School picnics which also had sports. If you got a place you got something like rolos or smarties. Everyone also got things like a milky way or pastilles. One of the parents had a baker's shop and each child got a bag of cakes/buns to take home but maybe that was the norm for Sunday School picnics?


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 Post subject: Re: School Sports Days
PostPosted: 06 Jul 2016, 10:12 
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I wasn't too bad at the egg and spoon race, presumably because I was so slow.

My friend was persuaded by her seven-year-old daughter to take part in the mums' race at this year's sports; regretted it when she came last. Does it ever end??


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 Post subject: Re: School Sports Days
PostPosted: 06 Jul 2016, 12:12 
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I was hopeless at Sports Days. I'm sure I never won anything. I was glad when I reached the 3rd form, as I had an evening paper round and could legitimately leave early.

I do remember a PE teacher once asking me to be a pacemaker (in a PE class) for a friend who was a good 800 metre runner. But it took me a long time to run the 400, so I don't think I was much help. :roll:

Having said that, the girl concerned is one of only two people in my year that I still keep in touch with, so maybe we forged a lasting bond. :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: School Sports Days
PostPosted: 06 Jul 2016, 21:38 
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At primary school we had races for the select few and for everyone something called 10 steps where you went round doing all kinds of exercises and got a certificate according to how many you completed - the max was 10, I normally managed about 3. At secondary school it was just races but everyone had to watch. Thus I managed to injure myself whilst watching sports day - my foot went to sleep and when I stood up I went over on my ankle.


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 Post subject: Re: School Sports Days
PostPosted: 11 Jul 2016, 17:48 
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...and Results
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I don't remember much about Sports Day at primary school, but I remember hating it, and feeling glad on the year that both the official day and the 'reserve in case of wet weather' day were both rained off. I do remember that after a race you got a cup of horrible flavored, warm 'orange juice' - which had certainly never been near an orange.

In secondary school, we had to turn up, but it mainly involved sitting around watching the athletic people run races - thus quite enjoyable.

Ironically I was regarded as an expert swimmer at school, and frequently won races in the regatta - the school had it's own pool. I liked swimming, and swum twice a week with a local swimming club, but I was never considered anywhere near competitive level by the club - but compared to people in school who swum twice a term when they couldn't avoid it, I was indeed an expert! The regatta wasn't watched by the whole school, since there wasn't room around the pool, but having a day off lessons to attend the regatta got me lot of (undeserved) sporting notice.

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 Post subject: Re: School Sports Days
PostPosted: 11 Jul 2016, 21:01 
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Exercise in humiliation from what I remember. I hated sports days, and always chose the easiest thing to do - we had to take part. I was never any good at any sport. Don't think the chalet girls would have been impressed with me!

I do remember my PE teacher at High School always encouraged me to do my best in PE lessons, as they knew I struggled with them.

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 Post subject: Re: School Sports Days
PostPosted: 13 Jul 2016, 13:38 
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Winning the dolls' house
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It is sports day in the school I work in right now! I have spent the last two hours supervising the table tennis and have now snuck off to my classroom to have a cup of coffee and do a little prep for tomorrow.

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