Just For Fun: Sports Day Checklist

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John Dabell

I trained as a primary school teacher 25 years ago, starting my career in London and then I taught in a range of schools in the Midlands. In between teaching jobs, I worked as an Ofsted inspector (no hate mail please!), national in-service provider, project...
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Are your ready for Sports Day?

It is just around the corner… Sports Day… but, how prepared are you?

You have rejected the School Council’s proposal that fidget spinners should be included and classed as a ‘sport’. You’ve also banned flip-flops from the parents’ race but what else is there to consider?

Here are a few last minute checks and considerations:

1. The three-legged race has been risk assessed and is out – last year’s Year 3 race saw Samuel with a broken tibia and Mohammed with a broken fibula.

2. It’s a dilemma for the egg and spoon scramble race. Should it be free-range Clarence Court Burford Browns or a crate of Lidl’s cheap and cheerful barn eggs? Check children’s spoons for Blu-Tack as well.

3. The hessian sacks for the sack races gave some children rashes last time so super-strength plastic recycling bags it is then (don’t discount sleeping bags). No running in the sacks!

4. The wheelbarrow race is still on but shorten to 25m. No one finished the 1500m course last time. Could replace with the Spiderman Sprint where children run on all fours like Spiderman climbing a wall.

5. We’ve binned the foam javelins – the wind always took them sideways or backwards and Year 2 picked chunks out of them one afternoon. Garden canes as an alternative have been rejected so javelin is off the menu.

6. We’re not sure about the parents’ race either. The dad’s are ultra-competitive and there were rumours Isabella’s dad had been in training for the sprint. Mr Clinton was rushed to A&E last year after stabbing himself in the thigh with his front door key – if we do go ahead, all pockets have to be emptied first. We can’t risk another multi-dad pile up.

7. Sports Day is a real community event and some parents sat watching the events with picnics last year – need to remind them though that bottles of fizz and wine aren’t allowed. Sloshed parents in the long-jump sandpit with whilst trying not to spill their prosecco, made for a sensational newsletter photo.

8. Remember to hire a professional to mark out the white lines – it was kind of Mr Henson to do it last year for free – although we had to rename the event the ‘Wibbly Wobbly Olympics’.

9. Check the weather for freak tornados. Try and learn from what happened in China to the boy swept up 4m into the air.

10. Think carefully about prizes this year – forget medals – time for a change. Perhaps a butternut squash for first place, a bag of Jersey royals for 2nd and a bag of ugly carrots for 3rd? Take a look at the article about veg being used as prizes for Sports Day elsewhere.

11. Definitely do welly-wanging again although move well away from the gardens that back onto the field – Mrs Darma surprised us all with how far she could wang a welly. She’s eager to defend her title.

12. Bean bag on the head and Space Hopper races very popular – perhaps combine this summer? Remind children that they can’t hold the bean bag on their head – we say it every year and they still do it.

13. Staff vs parents Tug Of War was embarrassing for all last year. Mrs Glen’s wrist is still bandaged up and the physio isn’t working.

14. Bucket of water relay was a monster hit with teachers soaking children with water guns. They loved it…(teachers that is).

15. The weather was too hot for the dressing up obstacle race – get rid of scarves, bobble hats and gloves this year?

16. The skipping race starts off as skipping but just turns into the 100m – ditch?

17. Running with the football between your knees race? Children loved it but the parent version was alarming – not sure.

18. Anyone wearing plimsols will be disqualified. 39 children had swollen ankles last year.

19. Make sure we run out of time for the teacher race.

20. Remind whoever is in charge of the refreshments this year that they need to dilute the orange squash.

21. Anyone crying after a race is to be sent to see Mrs Foss in the first aid tent to calm down. Crying was contagious last year in Year 2.

22. No more “I Did My Best” stickers for those not in the top three – they took ages to give out and half of them peeled off because of body heat.

23. Pushy parents to be ‘yellow carded’ by Mr Piper again – worked well before. Should we mark off a ‘sin bin’ area?

24. Make sure the microphone is switched off in between races – 2 staff faced disciplinary last time for gossiping about parents. Can we also make sure the Tannoy system actually works – it just sounded like a bad DJ at a wedding.

25. If it rains during the event, all classes are to line up with their teachers and not a screaming free-for-all dash to the KS1 classes.

Wishing you an action packed and fun sports day!

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