Love it or loathe it, one thing’s for sure: the school Sports Day is a staple in the calendar that’s Going. Absolutely. Nowhere.
And whether you’re the parent screaming at the front with the homemade giant banner or the one lurking in the shadows hoping no one will spot you for the adult wheelbarrow race, there are a few things about Sports Day that we think you’ll find as ridiculous as us every time it comes around.
6 of the most ridiculous things about Sports Day…
1. Just HOW competitive parents can be
OK, we know not everyone gets too worked up about where their kids come in a race. BUT serious bust-ups have been known to happen when the winner’s called and not everyone agrees on who made it over the line first.
Don’t believe us? A few years ago, MadeForMums reported on a story from Australia, where around 150 schools got so fed up with the arguments going on between parents disputing which of their kids won various races they spent hundreds of Australian dollars on electronic gates to precision-calculate race times ?
As the kids ran through the gates at the end of a race they gave an accurate indication of who’d won, meaning the arguments stopped – more or less.
2. The non-stop argument about making Sport Day competitive/non-competitive
As much as there are parents who love to take Sports Day to an extreme competition-wise, every year there seems to be a campaign to make it completely uncompetitive. But is that really what us mums and dads want?
Back in 2017, Families Online asked people to say whether they thought the competitive element of Sports Day should be dropped.
While 14% of parents were in favour of non-competitive Sports Days, saying they should be inclusive events where everyone wins for taking part, a massive 76% of parents said they thought having an element of winning and losing, and healthy competition, is actually important.
Though not necessarily to the point of electronic gates…
3. How stressful it is taking ‘the Sports Day photograph’
A survey carried out by Mindlab a couple of years ago looked at what summer situations people find the hardest to capture.
The scientists found that parents trying to photograph a child’s sporting achievement at Sports Day showed more signs of stress than anyone else taking photos at weddings, birthday parties or graduation day.
Now this one we get: you desperately want to capture your little hero’s win, but you can also see the kid just behind running seriously fast and about to steal their medal…
5. Photographs are sometimes BANNED altogether
Now, it wasn’t so long ago that the Information Commissioner’s Office had to ask schools to remind parents that it’s actually OK to take photos of your own children on Sports Day.
Photographs taken for use in private photo albums are not protected by the Data Protection Act, so those silly headlines about not being allowed to snap a shot of your little one were blown way out of proportion.
Other people’s kids though? Be careful – and don’t post on social media unless the pic shows your child only.
5. The egg and spoon race can seriously damage your health
Watch out, unfit parents! Trying to win the sack race to impress the kids could end up in a trip to A&E if you’re not careful.
According to a survey by AposTherapy, it’s the highly competitive egg and spoon race which is causing havoc amongst parents, with ligament damage, strained calves and hamstrings the common injuries suffered by mums and dads competing for the parents’ race crown – although the 3-legged race is pretty hazardous too.
So, be warned: if you are going to run that dreaded parents’ race, be sure to limber up first or you could be in trouble ?
6. The weather’s always wrong
We know that ridiculously unpredictable weather here in Blighty isn’t the preserve of Sports Day, but it does seem to have a knack of being crazily hot or crazily wet when the big day rolls around: or a bit of both on the same afternoon.
Cue everything you and your child could possibly need: shorts, thick jogging trousers, raincoat, sunglasses, sunhat, suncream, wellies, huge bottles of water… you know the story ?