Sports Days and Awkward Parents' Races

It's that time of year again, when the playing fields of England ring out with the dulcet tones of parents screaming at their children as they run towards the finishing line. Yes, Sports Day has come around again



Sports plus a small Rosé

We've done two lots of Sports Days again this year. Our eldest son's was a relatively calm affair. That's because there was so much going on that we had no idea what events he was entered into. And after a few bottles of rosé we didn't much care.

He was pretty happy, hanging out with his friends, and luckily was organised enough to know where he needed to be and when for the three events he had entered.

With him, we tend to avoid the track events, mainly because his running style is hilarious, and you can literally hear the ripple of laughter as he races around the track. Someone described it as similar to a frilled lizard running - all flapping arms and bandy legs.

The next Usain Bolt

My youngest son's Sports Day was last week. He told us that he didn't have a hope of winning anything. We took him at his word, and ambled down to the finishing line.

Before we got close to the finishing line, we saw a streak of white and blue with a mohican on top (no amount of hair products sticks my son's hair down) racing down the track. He crossed the finishing line before we had a chance to pull out a camera or cheer him on. He won both of his events, which was a total shock. I took all the credit, and put it down to my genes and the porridge I feed him every morning.

As for the eldest son, he can thank his Dad for the "frilly lizard" look.

The dreaded parents' race

When it came to the parents' race, I opted out this year, and I imagine that was to everyone's relief.

A few years ago, I joined in but clearly didn't get the memo about the appropriate clothing to wear. I still didn't click when I saw all the other parents in lycra shorts.

My attire that day was what you would normally expect to wear on a hot day - a flimsy vest and a short skirt. All was well until we were told to link our hands with the person behind us. That was fine, even though it turned out to be man. What was not fine was that we had to link hands through our legs. The poor man behind me got a right eyeful, as did everyone else as I bent double and hobbled towards the finishing line.

My son has never asked me to participate in a parents' race again.

Healthy competition

There are of course many schools that don't believe in competition and ban it from their Sports Days. Not sure I understand the logic. We all have to face competition throughout our lives. By not exposing them to it doesn't help them deal with failure in the future - it just postpones the inevitable.

There is nothing wrong with losing. Every child just needs to understand how to deal with it. And a couple of parents could do with a few lessons in that skill as well.

Amanda Coxen, Working Mum and Tinies Director

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