After several aborted attempts, it was the geekdaughter’s first ever sports day on Wednesday. She was supposed to have one at nursery last year, and had been practicing for it, but it got rained off twice and couldn’t be re-scheduled. This was the school’s second attempt, as the original date last month was rained off at the last minute. We had tears when I got the text message to say it was cancelled as we prepared to leave the house. Wednesday was the rescheduled date, and although the sky was a little grey the rain held off and the day was allowed to go ahead.
I was never a sporty child. I don’t recall ever doing well at a sports day, although my mother might correct me on that! My overwhelming memories were that I ran slower than everyone else and finished in the middle to the back of the pack. I gave up PE as soon as I can, and have got progressively less and less active since then. So whilst I was pleased that the geekdaughter was excited about her sports day, I was also wondering how we could encourage and keep that enthusiasm going if it turned out she had inherited my sporting ability…
The infant school sports day was held in the morning, so all the parents just hung around on the sports field after dropping the kids off. Chairs were brought out for us to sit on, a refreshments stand was set up, and eventually all the infant classes came out and sat on their chairs on the other side of the running track from the parents. Two classes per year group, each split into 4 rows, each row ran together. So the geekdaughter was running in a group with 6 or 7 of her peers.
She got up for her first race, lined up with her group, waved happily at us, and the geekdaddy and I watched and cheered as our daughter pegged it down the field. She appeared to do quite well, and was one of the three that waited at the end to be given a sticker. We guessed that meant she had got a place. She came and sat back down in her chair opposite and stuck two fingers up at us. Second! She’d come second!
We watched her get up again 3 more times. We marveled at her control in the egg and spoon race (where she led the field until she dropped the egg right near the finishing line) and the bean bag on head race where she didn’t drop it once. We watched her bounce confidently along in her sack. At the end of each race she got a sticker and came and sat back down again.
The Mums and Dads got to race as well. When the Mums were called I was suddenly unable to locate the geekson and had the perfect excuse not to partake – thankfully he was found sitting under a chair playing with his cars! However the geekdaddy was a great sport and joined in with the Dads race, much to the geekdaughter’s delight.
After a couple of hours it was all over – the kids filed back into school, and the geekdaddy and I headed home. I had to wait until I collected the geekdaughter later in the day to find out exactly how well she’d done. Turns out in the four races she had won two, and come second in the other two. She came first in the sack race and the bean bag on head race, second in the sprint and the egg and spoon race (where she dropped the egg at the end!)
I am sure the biggest factor at her age is her birthday. Whilst I, with my birthday at the end of July, was always one of the youngest in my class, the geekdaughter’s birthday is October, making her not just one of the oldest, but one of the tallest, with longer legs. I am sure that gives her a huge advantage. I read once that more successful sportsmen and women are born in September than in any other month, and I wonder if early success at school due to their age advantage is a factor in that. After all, when I started failing at sports day, I convinced myself I wasn’t any good at sports. Perhaps early success at sports day will have the opposite effect on the geekdaughter and she’ll grown up believing she is good at sports. Which wouldn’t be a bad thing, really.
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