It’s that time of the year where the classroom chairs come outside, the whistle and scoring cards are cleaned, and all of the PE equipment makes it way to the sports field. It’s sports day season!
Whether your kids love it or hate it, sports day is a great way to get them active and involved in team building exercises. From the egg and spoon race to more refined sports like javelin, sports day events are an integral part of school life and encourage kids to get moving and get involved. Now sports days have changed a little since we were last at school, but we’ve taken a look and listed the events that we think make up a great British sports day. We’ve also had a quick look to see how the rest of world organise their sports days, and the native sports they like to compete in.
Egg and spoon race
A true primary school classic. Dating back to the 19th century, the egg and spoon race has been a staple in many British celebrations over the years but it is now most commonly seen as a test of balance and agility at your local primary school. Now everyone has their own technique, but we think we’ll stick with the principle from Aesop’s fable ‘The Hare and the Tortoise’ that ‘slow and steady always wins the race’.
One for the whole team to truly get stuck into. The relay race is all about encouraging and supporting your team mates to the finish line, which makes it a great addition to school sports day. We think the relay race has earned its spot in the school sports day champion hallway.
The stuff of every parents nightmare. Unknowingly being volunteered by your 8 year old to partake in the hilariously competitive parents race. We were under the impression sports day was about encouraging and supporting your kids in sports, but it turns out it’s all about which parent will become the champion. Competitive dads please step forward.
International sports days
Sports days aren’t just held in the UK but all over the world. They may vary in length and what sporting events are held, but they all encourage kids to get active and fuel their involvement in sports in later life.
Undōkai (the Japanese name for sports day) is usually held over a weekend in the cooler month of the year. Students begin practicing and training for Undōkai weeks before the event to ensure they are performing at their best for their friends and families. Undōkai is accompanied by Tamaire which involves performances by the school bands and presentations by various school clubs.
Sports days are held over 2 or 3 days in India and include more team sports such as cricket, football and volleyball than traditional athletic events. Kids are split into house teams and compete against each other in traditional Indian sports such as Kho-Kho and March-Pash.
Sports day is a national holiday in Qatar and is held on the second Tuesday of February every year. It is taken particularly seriously in Qatar, the event is organised by the Qatar Olympic committee and is observed across the entire country which makes it a pretty big deal. Most sporting events that are held follow traditional sports day as well as a couple of native sports such as camel racing.