I have been dreading Sports Day 2015 since the moment I walked away from Sports Day 2014. I cursed it as I noted down this year’s date in my diary and informed the husband that he just had to book it off work to ‘enjoy’ it with me. The cursing continued as the day approached and Oli informed me had lost his PE top (you know the plain white t-shirt you paid £10 for because it had the school logo on) and that he needed a new one. This meant raiding his wardrobe that morning for something that was white-ish. Blue and white stripey top? That will do! At least I didn’t have to spend an extra 10 minutes trying to find my child amongst the sea of white t-shirts (of which just a handful had the logo top – slap me and call me a mug why dont you!)
Why the dread I hear you ask? Two words – TEAM SPORTS. Nothing wrong with team sports but then life isn’t full of teamwork 24/7 is it? Sometimes you just have to go it alone and do your best. Is 6 too young to learn that as a life lesson? I do not think so. Maybe that is too deep thinking for just one event which lasts just a couple of hours, but then you didn’t have to stand there in that piecing heat contemplating all of this.
You see our school are one of many schools that do not partake in the traditional sports day where you have a starting line where on that word GO, you run your little legs off and try your best to win. To me that is the fun of sports day, it encourages cheering and smiles. That is exactly how I remember my sports day as a small child and how it continued as I got older. What I witnessed at Oli’s sports day was just a huge group of parents standing around chatting as if it was the school pick up. There was no cheering, and the only interaction people were having with their children was the zooming in on their mobiles to take pictures of Billy Bob to upload to Facebook.
I want my child to lose; I want him to feel that dissatisfaction at not coming first, second or even third. I want him to realise that winning certainly isn’t everything in life. That next year he will get another attempt at trying again.
But at the same time, I want my child to win; I want him to have the opportunity to be able to come out on top and excel at something he could be good at.
If they did it this way to spare the children’s feelings so they wouldn’t know what it felt like to lose, then it didn’t quite work. Those teams that came last were full of crying children. So maybe for next year I might join the PTA, instead of raising money for flower beds I will vote that we raise money for sacks, I will ask for donations from local supermarkets of REAL eggs, and I will mark out a race line myself. Sports Day 2016 I am coming for you!