Sunday, 13 November 2011

Friendly Competition

Today was the ACT little Athletics annual multi-event carnival. The kids in the under 9’s compete in 4 events and are awarded points based on their performance. Today, Flash competed in the 800m, long jump, shot-put and 100m.

There is another little girl in Flash’s age group, but a different club, called ‘Speedy’. For the past several years Flash and Speedy have taken it in turns to win their various events at the state level little athletics carnivals. Interestingly, speedy is also a very good swimmer and the girls have a fierce rivalry in the pool as well as on the track.

Today, GrumpyDaddy was doing our parent duty in the long-jump pit. Also on duty was Speedy’s Dad. Speedy’s dad told GrumpyDaddy that his daughter has singled out Flash as her main competition and trains not only to do personal bests, but to do well when she competes against Flash. Flash is also motivated to do well when she competes against Speedy. Importantly, The two girls have also struck up a good mutual friendship, they chat and play hand-clapping games while waiting for their events to start. Both girls are happy to see each other, are full of smiles and are not mean or spiteful to each other in any way.

In the first of  the day’s events Flash won the 800m convincingly in 3.05, taking out a lead of almost 40 points on Speedy.  Flash really seems to be developing into a very competent longer distance  runner. Interestingly, in swimming, Flash has the upper-hand in the longer distances as well. Whereas, Speedy can usually beat Flash in the sprint events.

In the long jump, Flash leaped a personal best of 3.29m. Can you guess the distance Speedy jumped??….3.29m exactly!! For the second jump Flash didn’t jump as far. However, speedy managed to jump another personal best, and further than Flash’s distance. With that terrific jump, Speedy was able to make about 10 points back on Flash.

Next came the shot put….Flash has issues when it comes to the throwing events. Last year she was competitive, but this year she had had several fowl throws. This has put a very large hole in her confidence. On her first throw, Flash made yet another fowl. When it came to do her second throw, she just plopped that dammed shot- put out there, right in front of her, as she was so concerned about throwing another fowl. Speedy however threw a personal best and took the lead in the point score.

In the 100m meters the two girls were in the same heat. I thought this was great because when they race with each other it really brings out the best in Flash. Flash ran a PB of 15.7 seconds. Speedy, however just pipped her across the line in a time of 15.3 seconds (also a PB!).

Speedy ended-up winning the overall point score and the gold medal. Flash finished up with the silver.

Directly after the carnival, Flash was in a very stroppy mood. She was very disappointed with her shot-put result. I also think that tiredness was a major contributing factor. After a rest at home though, she told me she was very proud of her achievements, She realised that she managed to get 3 personal bests today, and can’t wait to race Speedy and the other girls again!

I am truly glad that Flash has Speedy to run and swim with. Although flash was  initially disappointed today, I believe these experience will teach her valuable lessons and build her character. She will learn that it takes hard work and training to do well. She will learn that you can’t win all of the time and be good at everything. That each individual has their own strengths and areas to work on. It will also teach her valuable life lessons in sportsmanship and being a good winner and looser. It is also a good lesson for me to practice what I preach!! Hopefully the girls will continue to push each other to do their very best in swimming and athletics in the years to come.....

.....and I'll be there, in the shadows, to support her all the way!!

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