Sunday, 15 April 2012

The School Cross-Country Carnival

This school is certainly a great deal different to the school I attended when I wore a primary school uniform!

The school my girls attend recently held it’s annual cross country carnival on a beautiful autumn morning. The school oval was decorated in the primary colours of the sporting houses. The atmosphere and excitement of the children was reminiscent of a Quidditch game in Harry Potter….at the end of the day, which House would be holding the trophy!

The younger children ran in the first races and only competed a distance of 500m, but they were all giving it their best shot. They ran to the finish line with the rest of the school kids cheering and encouraging them.

Then something happened that really struck me by surprise!......a little boy was walking toward the finish line at the end of the race in tears. Some of the older kids jumped the barriers, put their arms around him and ran with him to the finish of the race. The smile he displayed through those tears was just heart-melting!

I had to wonder what would have happened in the same circumstance when I was at school. I feel fairly certain that that child…slowing approaching the finishing line, at the back of the race in tears……He would have been laughed at……

The school has a group of teachers that has formed a sporting team called the ‘All Stars’ It is a much anticipated tradition at the school where this ‘team ‘ participate in many sporting competitions in the school from basketball and other team sports at lunch time through to the sporting carnivals (watching the an ‘All Star’ member compete in the 100m butterfly swimming race with a snorkel and air mattress was a sight to truly behold!).

The All Stars ran in the 3km race with the older kids….they started off jogging along in fine ‘fashion’ but you can just imagine the delight an excitement of the children as the teachers appeared in the distance driving a grounds cart!! They had ‘commandeered' the vehicle and were desperately hamming up the situation for the enjoyment of all the children.

The 'All Stars'....... 'pushing' themselves to reach the finish line!!

…this sort of thing didn’t happen at my old school!.....

Looking back on that day, all the children had so much fun….and they couldn’t stop talking about the ‘All Stars’. The kids were clearly trying their best in the races, but the emphasis was much more on participation, finishing and fun than on winning.

Having said that, ribbons were awarded to the top 10 finishes and times were recorded to determine the winning house. The  races are the qualifying races for the zone cross country event when the top runners will compete against children from other schools. The emphasis of the day was still on fun and trying your best. I am certain this approach will be more successful in motivating and encouraging the children to be involved in sport for the fun of it….and for life-long enjoyment. The ‘All Stars’ are fantastic role models for the kids who model their obvious enjoyment of their sport.

I am so glad that school and school sports carnivals have changed from my experience at school….….for the better

My girls, Flash and Muscles, both ran their little hearts out to win their respective they're off to the zone  cross-country next month

One of my aims for this little SportyMummy blog, is to develop a Youth Sports community where parents can support, encourage and motivate each other to support their children’s participation in youth sports. If your children have participated in a youth sport or an active pursuit this week-end, you can link up your post with the linky, found at the end of this post,  and share the fun!

And this week I'm Flashing my blog over at 'Twinkle in the eye' for the first time


  1. What a wonderful school! My school sports day’s sound more like the one’s you remember. The more able kids spent most of the day jeering at the less able. I was one of the less able and remember those days with something akin to horror. I love your blog and often call in and spend a while reading your posts.

    1. Thanks so much Barbara :) I'm glad that you enjoy my posts....thanks for letting me know!

  2. Oh we missed the Cross Country Trials this year as we went away for my father's birthday in the country. The teachers said 'sorry the rules are, if you're not here on the day of the trials, you can't run, plus it will give the other children a chance to win' which made me giggle. For a while there my children WERE the school cross country team, but i was sad as my 4th is 8 & this was his first year of being eligible for North Canberra. Oh well, saves me all those events out at freezing Mt Stromlo this year, yay.
    Sports this weekend, nothing, but we have Volleyball tomorrow, even in school holidays. Love Posie

    1. Thanks Posie..yep I have those freezing days at Stromlo to 'look forward' to!

  3. What a magic day - and set up.
    Love the 'all star' role models too.
    :-) x

    1. Thanks Shar...the All Stars certainly gave us all a laugh :)

  4. Another good post. Your beautiful children always make me smile.

  5. What a lovely story. Thanks for linking up for Flash Blog Friday :-)