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To think schools should think more about the athletically challenged on Sports Day?

(241 Posts)
BeeInYourBonnet Wed 17-Jun-15 19:30:01

It just seems like they are set up to fail, which makes them hate sport and sports day for the rest of their lives!

My DD is yet again in the sack race and skipping race.
A. She can't really skip so it will be a disaster.
B. The sack race is like some kind of medieval torture.

She was DESPERATE to be in the sprint or obstacle race, but apparently you have to rank top three in the practice to be in those races.

The sack race however is the 'didn't make the grade' race. It's a great idea isn't it? - let's take the least athletic, make them jump for 50m in a sack, with the almost 100% chance that they are going to end up face down in turf at some stage. That should motivate them. hmm

I feel so sorry for DD, as shes been in tears. I just feel like saying to the school to just let her run, if she comes last she comes last, but at least she won't be traumatised (again) from getting caught up in a skipping rope or going arse over tit in a sack!

Yarp Wed 17-Jun-15 19:35:11

Sport's Day was atrial for my DS1. And he was in the least competitive sPrimary school - everything was done in mixed-abilty teams apart from one sprint race at the end. It's hard for them to do something they aren't good at. But it's life, too.

Your school seems to have mis-managed it.

[Don't tell anyone, but in year 5, I let him stay of sick. He was so down at the time anyway. Couldn't face it]

Yarp Wed 17-Jun-15 19:35:37

Sports Day, sorry

PtolemysNeedle Wed 17-Jun-15 19:36:42

Schools can't win with this. The ones I know of all have non competitive sports days with smaller activities going on in house teams, but then parents moan that there are no races like the ones back in their day.

I don't think there is a way of doing sports day that will suit every child and keep parents happy. You have my sympathy though, it's horrible when your children are upset by things like this at school.

KingJoffreyLikesJaffaCakes Wed 17-Jun-15 19:37:53

Sports Day is bullshit.

Being paraded/publicly humiliated is the last thing most kids need.

It's ever so slightly sadistic.

Tequilashotfor1 Wed 17-Jun-15 19:38:00

Yes that is shit.

I teach sports and its supposed to be inclusive. Some of the teachers that bring the kids are way too competitive so that 'their' class/team/ wins. angry

MineIsAGinAndTonic Wed 17-Jun-15 19:38:05

It's awful. One of my children is autistic and dyspraxic. I hate sports day with a passion.

kinkyfuckery Wed 17-Jun-15 19:38:20

^ what Ptolemy said

TheTroubleWithAngels Wed 17-Jun-15 19:40:38

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LashesandLipstick Wed 17-Jun-15 19:40:50

There's a way to suit everyone, make it optional. Those who want to can, those who don't want to don't have to feel stupid

ThroughThickAndThin01 Wed 17-Jun-15 19:42:04

Double what Ptolemy said.

I've been there from both sides - One of my DS's is super sporty, but doesnt shine anywhere else so it was fantastic that he could show what he could do on sports day and in matches. Other DSs awful at sports but we would watch them at music evenings, or plays, where they excelled.

I think the sporty or physical should get the chance to show off a bit.

UnspecialSnowflake Wed 17-Jun-15 19:44:49

I have a very uncoordinated, unsporty seven year old, who'll no doubt come near the back of every race she's in. Her bff is very good at sport, strong and fast and will probably win at least one of her races. DD will probably be quite dejected about her performance, and compare herself unfavourably to her friend...

...but, DDs friend really struggles academically, almost every school day she comes out dejected and compares herself unfavourably to her more able classmates. Sports day is a chance for her to show that's she's good at something. It's one day out of the year when children at school get praised and attention for something other than schoolwork.

WiseKneeHair Wed 17-Jun-15 19:45:43

My dyspraxic son is doing the hurdles this year! He will be last, he always is in which ever race he is in. One year, he was so far behind everyone else doing the egg and spoon race, that he got a round of applause just for finishing grin The difference between him and some of the other children mentioned though is that he isn't bothered.
I have a friend with a very intelligent son (routinely top of the class for pretty much everything) who is hopeless at sport. Her feeling was that competitive sports day could be good if handled well as it potentially gave those who don't normally shine a chance to do well. It also was a good lesson for her son that he wouldn't always be top at everything.

Ruperta Wed 17-Jun-15 19:46:38

i'm sorry but I disagree, sports day is about taking part, mucking in and encouraging physical activity. The sack race/egg & spoon race/slow bike race are there for the less athletic to take part. (Personally I think it would be far more demoralising being left for dust by the top sprinters in the year).

Sports day is about sports, teamwork & competition. Some win, some lose but it shouldn't really matter if you go into it with the right attitude. I wasn't massively good at anything as a child but I tried my hardest, never won anything but I enjoyed it none the less.

Cantbelievethisishappening Wed 17-Jun-15 19:46:56

Oh FGS hmm

WiseKneeHair Wed 17-Jun-15 19:48:25

Ah, and I come last in the fast typing race as others have said what I was trying to say, but much more eloquently. grin

sliceofsoup Wed 17-Jun-15 19:48:38

I think that it is necessary for children to learn that they have strengths and weaknesses, and that we all are better at some things than others. And sometimes we all need to be pushed slightly out of our comfort zones.

But no child should be feeling stressed or sick with worry over it. I agree with OPs sentiments regarding the sack race. When I was in Primary 2 I cried so much about the sack race that the teacher let me sit out of it. All races should be open to all, none of this top three in practice bullshit.

I think Lashes is spot on. Have it optional.

Fleecyleesy Wed 17-Jun-15 19:48:43

At our school, they time all the kids running across the grass. The kids are then put into graded running races (although many are not aware of this). My dd is slow but last year she managed a 3rd place because she was in a low grade race. She did know she was in a low grade race but was pleased with third. I suppose the problem comes if there are races of 6 and you are the 6th fastest in the top grade race but you end up coming last essentially. This year I told dd to run really slowly in the time trial grin.

WellTidy Wed 17-Jun-15 19:49:10

Its sports day for 7yo DS tomorrow. He has no physical co-ordination (possibly dyspraxic). He cannot skip. He will come last in every race, as he did last year, and the year before. He will not win a mdal. Last year, he was the only one in his class not to place 1st, 2nd or 3rd in at least one race. Every other child in his class got a medal. It was obvious to him, every child and every parent (and believe me, there were lots of parents checking which colour medals the other children had compared to their own).

I feel so much for him. He is such a sweet, sensitive and caring kid.

Loads of parents go and watch. He feels humiliated in front of the biggest audience of the school year.

I sympathise as I was useless at ball games throughout school. And of course, ball games required me to be part of a team. I would be consistently awful, and feel like I was leting the whole team down. Which I was. I knew I was, as the other girls would get so exasperated at me not being able to hit the rounders ball, or take a catch and they would all shout "Oh WellTidy!!!" and huff and puff and moan that they weren't going to win now. And they would go on and on. And I would feel worse and worse.

But I was academic. I got good results in all academic subjects, unlike so many of the other girls. But academic subjects are not team subjects. So if the other girls didn't do well, they weren't made to feel that they were letting the whole group down, and it wasn't made public.

cuntycowfacemonkey Wed 17-Jun-15 19:50:07

I was not remotely athletic but I LOVED sports day at primary school.

Sparklingbrook Wed 17-Jun-15 19:50:24

Sports Day is horrible. I have never met a parent or child who enjoyed it. I was thrilled when we left it behind after Year 4.

The Parents' race is always funny though. except when one Dad went to hospital with a dislocated shoulder after the skipping race with a teeny tiny rope.

Preciousbane Wed 17-Jun-15 19:50:45

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

EndoplasmicReticulum Wed 17-Jun-15 19:50:47

I won a race on Sports Day once. It was the "backwards race". I came last (as usual) therefore I won!

After a couple of years they took pity on me and let me add up the scores instead.

I don't see anything wrong with proper competitive races. For those who actually want to do them. But forcing the hopelessly uncoordinated to take part so everyone can point and laugh was mean.

I was banned from hurdles at secondary school as they were concerned I'd break them. Or my legs, or something.

elliejjtiny Wed 17-Jun-15 19:51:00

I have mixed feelings about this. I have dyspraxia so I was always useless at sports day. DS1 is very unco-ordinated. DS2 is a part time wheelchair user. DS1 came last in the sack race and the running race. DS2 came last in the running race and 1st in the egg and spoon race (he walked so slowly that he never dropped his egg!) However they are the youngest children in the chess club at school. The others are all year 5 and 6 and then there is DS1 in year 4 and DS2 in year 2.

nozzernoodles Wed 17-Jun-15 19:52:25

My DS is very sporty and absolutely looks forward to sports day all year. I think it is very difficult to suit all children, there are always going to be some that struggle at sport as there are some that struggle academically.

DS is not particularly strong academically, all of his friendship group are. They place the children in mixed ability groups in his school throughout their time, until this year for KS2 sats, where ALL of his friends were split off for level 6 work. DS has spent the whole year feeling like he is lesser than his friends at English and maths, which has dented his confidence massively. If it wasn't for football, rugby, rounders, athletics and cricket as well as looking forward to shining in sports day I'm not sure how we would have hit him through the year!

It is a shame that some children dread sports day and I really think a good mixture of non competitive and competitive activities are a good idea, however I think all children will struggle at something in school and shine in something else, so there should be a good mix for all.

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