Friday, 24 June 2011

Sports Day

This blog is dedicated to Lawrie, a true gentle gentleman, who quietly slipped away from this world in to the next without warning in his sleep two days ago. Our thoughts and prayers are with Nancy at this unexpected turn of events, at a time when they were finalising plans to travel the world after retiring from their careers later this year.

With my children now being in seperate schools, I have wondered whether we would suffer the consequences of diary clashes especially with respect to the all important end of year Sports Day. This, to me, is the most important day in the school calendar. Being in possession of absolutely no sporting prowess what so ever, my parents showed little interest in this important day when I was growing up, being confident that I would always come last – and did! My sister, being at a different school to me, showed talent from an early age as a middle distance runner, but as a result also had to suffer the ignominy of my father standing on the sidelines bellowing at the top of his voice for her to “Get a Move on” and other such phrases! To my knowledge, she never ever failed to deliver and I know my parents were very proud of her achievements.

So on to 2011. Antonia's sports day took place yesterday having been postponed from last week due to inclement weather, Elise's is today. To say that Antonia absolutely loves Sports Day is an understatement. In her mind, it is not the winning that is important to her, it is the taking part. Her favourites seem to be the running race, and the all important team relay at the end. True to form, she delivered and performed as expected. On taking up the baton in the relay, with the largest smile she could muster and her face and eyes shining with the excitement of it all, she set off down the field at a fair pace. OK, so she wasn't running very fast, and I have no doubt that she wasn't achieving her true potential – but to her it wasn't important. In her eyes she was the winner and I wouldn't have been at all surprised if she had given high 5's all the way along with the cheering crowd. 

Elise, on the other hand, has inherited my sister's physique and talent for sports, and today will be her last Sports Day at Primary School. Elise has always done well on Sports Day – she is not only a strong contender, she also encourages others in her team to do as well, if not better. She is quite frankly sports mad, and I wouldn't be surprised if in time she inherits my sisters childhood nickname of “Muscles”. The past week or two has seen a lot of sporting activites in Elise's diary, including taking part in her very first mini-marathon last weekend. In spite of being given a training plan by her teacher, Elise's preparation for this event was minimal, but I needn't have worried – she came 4th in a field of about 30 girls.

Having woken up early and checked the forecast, it looks the same as yesterday - the risk of some heavy showers. However, there is an additional snag in the plans. Elise, having been to gymnastics training last night, managed to pull a muscle in her back, and in spite of sleeping well she is still in pain this morning. Although she puts on a brave face, we know that she is worried and upset about the possibility that she may not be able to run later today. Being single minded though, Elise later decided that she would run and took part in her two favourite events – the middle distance race and the sprint. The sprint saw her come in well ahead of her opponents, whilst she timed her race beautifully in the middle distance event, just about pipping one of her closest friends to first place. The comradeship and sporting behaviour was good to see as both girls immediately shook hands and congratulated each other on the close finish and I am so proud of them both. 

As for the weather, it was the same pretty much on both days - overcast but dry, with the showers holding off until the events had finished. And as for me and Tim, we would have not have had the last two days any different – in our eyes our children are both winners and we are proud of them.

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