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Kids running on sports day

Behind The Scenes at Sports Day


For as long as many of us can remember sports day has always resided at every school in the summer months showing off pupil’s talents at physical education. Parents, teachers and children alike congregate on a school field or local green patch for an afternoon of races and related fun. The concept of sports day has always been straight forward fun for all the family. However when looking in to the event more closely the activity of sports day could in fact have other effects on the children which are not as welcoming as the element of fun. Looking at each aspect in turn we can learn the inside scoop of what sports day is really about.

The Children

Children love nothing more than to let off some steam by running around with their friends and having lots of fun. Running races and playing games can be seen as great fun from a child’s perspective. Boundless energy and no limitations of what people think of them make them great at enjoying themselves actively. Yet on the introduction of rules and competition are put in place the fun factor could be sufficiently reduced. The reduction in the key element of fun can leave children restless and a little unwilling to take part as it is not what they consider fun. On the flip side if managed properly the fun element can be stay intact and the children will be more cooperative in the races planned.

The Teachers

Along with the education side of schooling teachers are also obligated to encourage children to take part in physical education. P E lessons are part of the school curriculum and are compulsory to all pupils until later on in their education. Many children don’t enjoy these lessons so sports day is a good example of making sports fun. Organising novel races such as the egg and spoon race help children to forget about the fact they are taking part in physical education.

Competition in sports can be taken either way in a discussion. First of all not all children have the capability to be as sporty as others. Having asthma for example can limit the distance they can run substantially in a race either short or long distance. Therefore instantly giving others an unfair advantage which isn’t the child’s fault. On the other side competition is healthy and can give children that extra little push that they need to win the race.

The Parents

Parents can be divided into 2 categories, pushy parents or proud parents. Sports day can mean different things to different families. The proud parents are supportive of their children and promote the thinking of doing the best that they can. Even though a child may not win the race the parent is full of pride that they did the best they could and praise them for it. Pushy parents are of the nature that their child is and will be the best no matter what. Whether it entails any praise or no praise at all the child must win the race at all costs.

Status of families can also be reflected in the competitions as pushy parents do not want other families seeing their child lose. Leaving a supposed image on the family. Although this aspect of parenting is frowned upon it is too commonly found in schools to be ignored.

Healthy Competition

Learning about competition can be very productive towards a child’s development. Knowing that other children may be better at some things than themselves can help children get the motivation they need to work harder. This motivation gives more satisfaction to get the job done. Many children strive to make their parents proud or at least to do it for themselves. With the support of families any and all hard work that goes in to the end result can be highly beneficial. Children pushing themselves to be all that they can be is a great start for methods which can be used much later in life to their advantage.

In it to win it or the taking part?

Once again this issue always comes to conflict between many different people. Some competitors are simply in the event to win it whereas others just want the opportunity to take part and have a go. On some occasions sports day can be seen as being too competitive although essentially it is put in place to aid a healthy development. Taking part in events is a positive experience on a child’s social development which is also key to their cognitive functions. Being able to be social with others is a skill most valued in a child’s upbringing. Though competition is essential to push motivation the taking part in the event counts both morally and physically.


Jason is the Founder of Term Dates. As a parent, it soon became apparent that finding the Term Dates and School Holidays for a particular school was not as easy as it should be. After six months collating all the necessary data, Term Dates was born.