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School Sports Day, Boy/Girl Race

(22 Posts)
Oxfordblue Sat 11-Jul-15 00:27:54

My friends school has a very good sports day. All races are Year specific with boy/girl events & therefore there are 1,2,3 boys & 1,2,3 girls. Apart from the 400m race where the boys & girls run together & 1,2,3 are whoever comes in ie no 1,2,3 boy & 1,2,3 girl.

I don't think this is fair & I especially don't think it's conducive to encouraging the girls.

I'm trying to research whether this is 'correct' but struggling, could anyone advice ?

I think it's probably a time saver but see no reason why they couldn't award 1,2,3 to each gender ? confused

SavoyCabbage Sat 11-Jul-15 00:38:45

I'm in Australia and all sports day races and field events are run with boys and girls separate and they are divided into age groups according to the Athletics year, not the school year.

My girls do athletics and as far as I know the only race where they are allowed to compete together is the walk. Even if there is only one child in the age group they run them alone rather than in with the same age but different gender as it affects the times.I don't know that they would go that far with school sports day though. They might though. It's all very serious here!

It seems silly that they do separate races for all of the events except the 400m though.

InnocentWhenYouDream Sat 11-Jul-15 07:33:22

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

motherwithheadache Sat 11-Jul-15 07:41:16

I have always thought it silly how at cross country races they run separate races for girls and boys but do combine 2 year groups together. For secondary school fair enough but not primary school.

As for the 400m, it may take too long to have 2 400m races? THere may not be that many running 400m, so silly to have 6 prizes if not many children are running it?

AuntieStella Sat 11-Jul-15 07:43:04

I think it should be 1/2/3 of all those competing in the particular race.

If you start separating out those within a race by sex, yes you get more prizewinners, but giving a 1st to the child who came 3rd isn't going to help anything.

Whether you should have both mixed and separate sex races within the same overall event is a slightly different question. Would they have had enough runners to make two 400m races worthwhile?

I am assuming that these are all children below the age where athletics must be separated by sex.

You might also be interested in this thread www.mumsnet.com/Talk/womens_rights/2400555-Gender-segregated-races-at-primary-school-sports-day which has been running for a little while, and which began about whether each sex shoud compete separately at primary school.

Littlefish Sat 11-Jul-15 07:49:41

Dd is 10 and is a good runner. At the start of ths term the girls and boys raced separately, with dd consistently winning the girls race. By about half way through the term a decision was made for her to run with the boys. Initially, she was amongst the fastest, but not the winner. By the end of the term she had really progressed and consistently beat the boys too. I believe this improvement was due to having some proper competition to run against which she simply didn't have when running in segregated teams.

Unfortunately, at sports day, the school reverted to gender segregated races again which was disappointing, and a decision which I will be querying next year.

This us interesting - my kids school do things differently (Germany) with timed/ measured events (timed running, measured long jump and shot put and counted skipping etc etc) but right from age 6 the boys and girls have different targets - boys have to jump the skipping rope only 17 times for "gold" at age 6 but girls 25 times. With the long jump though girls have to jump 3 meters and boys 3.5 ... It actually seems slightly random, although the fact targets increase with age (10 year old girls have to jump the rope 50 times for gold) makes sense.

I have a 7 year old boy who is the same size and for many things physically as able as my 10 year old girl so gender differentiated targets even at primary do seem to make sense to me.

Oxfordblue Sat 11-Jul-15 08:06:57

I don't know what the ages are & nothing is timed.

What I don't like, & am wondering if it 'fair' is the SCORING of mixed pupils for years 3/4. Years 5/6 they run separately & a awarded points for their team.

They could all run in the same race, but score them separately.

I'll look at the link.

I don't think very empowering & in line with the campaign 'This girl can' etc.

InnocentWhenYouDream Sat 11-Jul-15 08:23:59

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

September born year 4s are very nearly 10 at this time of year innocent so right on the cusp of puberty or possibly even starting puberty for a few girls.

I'mnot aactually sure you can make sport's day "fair" exactly (dd is the youngest in her year and although fairly sporty there are girls in her year a foot taller... ds is 3rd oldest in his year and the tallest, broadest, and like dd does a lot of sport outside school and embarrassingly actually got the best time/ score in every single event for his sports day... DD did well in a few events but a friend of hers is like ds and essentially "won" everything. There's a tiny uncoordinated boy in ds' s class who places last at everything but luckily he is ft hetype of big personality who can handle it... everyone cheers for him, but it doesn't make it fair he has to compete against ds .

I think the question (in line with "this girl can") is how to value sporting achievement without putting off those who will never win the races from exercising for health and pleasure.

Oxfordblue Sat 11-Jul-15 09:33:49

I don't think I'm being clear.

ALL races are separate - good

Expect the running 400m where it's mixed. They award 1,2,3 to the first 3 kids regardless of gender. Typically it's the boys.

I think they should award 1,2,3 Boy AND girl. In line with everything I've read (on the other link) being placed/awarded boosts girls self esteem.

ALL other races are gender separated.

In years 5/6 the boys & girls run separately & are awarded points for placings.

InnocentWhenYouDream Sat 11-Jul-15 09:40:07

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

I agree it's very unhelpful to mix them just for one race.

Don't they run 800 meters? If 400 is the longest race maybe it's a time issue, but surely only saves about 2 - 3 minutes. ..

For the sake of the fastest girls yes they should be separated. I wonder where it all leaves encouraging the children who won't place either way to keep going with sport though - I do think winners should be awarded, and get their 5 mins in the sun - but how do you keep the 60% of girls who won't be in the top 3 for any "proper" event motivated?

Littlefish Sat 11-Jul-15 11:23:40

At dd's school, they run races for different speeds. So, they do 3 different speeds of girls (or boys) races for each year group. A friend whose daughter has previously always hated sports day at her previous school because she was always in the final few came 2nd in one of her races and 3rd in the other, and now says that she loves sports day and running!

As I previously mentioned though, dd is the fastest in her year group (out of boys or girls), and I'm so pleased she was given the opportunity to run with the boys as it really gave her someone to run against. I appreciate that she is probably in a minority in many schools though.

That's a good idea (the speed grouped races) Little - I think boys often are happy to carry on with sport (at leadt kick about football type level) even when very mediocre, but there's an attitude that only exceptionally talented girls do so once well into puberty and beyond - either you're county level or you give up, if you're a girl.

Could your dd compete at a higher level at an athletics club or similar.

ChunkyPickle Sat 11-Jul-15 13:27:23

That's a very good idea Little - you'd stream/cater for different academic ability, so why not for physical ability too.

I also like that when I was at school, there were the more formal races (which I didn't stand a chance at) but also something more like NurNochKurtz spoke about - where you just had to achieve a certain distance/level on an activity (of which there were a number) to get a bronze/silver/gold certificate - and they'd make sure that even the smallest, least sporty (ie. me) managed to find something they could get a couple of certificates doing (bean bag throw, balancing walk)

Littlefish Sat 11-Jul-15 13:53:38

NurNoch - she goes to an athletics club once a week too and absolutely loves it! Luckily, her school is a very sporty one so I know they will continue to encourage her and give her lots of opportunities to develop.

WhirlpoolGalaxyM51 Sat 11-Jul-15 15:43:16

Our primary school sports days the races are all mixed.

This year was great it was by house and a lot of relays so everyone did their best, and there were prizes for winning, and the speedy people got the recognition for that, but also there was a great team effort feeling, and the ones who were a bit rubbish it wasn't so obvious IYSWIM, especially as there was more than one age group going for it in the same group.

It was brilliant actually! Just what I think a sports day should be, it was fun and competitive, but in a positive way and the non sporty ones were not left out / left feeling rubbish IYSWIM. I was really impressed.

There is one girl at DD school who can just run loads faster than everyone else (I assume she is running "properly" as well as she's so amazing) it is always great to see her! Last year the track was about 30m at a guess and when she finished none of the others were even 1/2way yet! Amazing smile

WhirlpoolGalaxyM51 Sat 11-Jul-15 15:44:34

Also they did a load of different activities which was good too, rather than just the usual running / (tiny) hurdles, skipping race and so forth.

museumum Tue 14-Jul-15 20:09:16

Long distance events are usually mixed in the running but separate in the scoring/podium.
In the real world this is 10k+ but it's reasonable to do it for the longest school race. But yes, there should be three girls and three boys on two separate podiums even if they ran together.

Eastpoint Fri 17-Jul-15 08:33:10

Dds are older & go to a single sex school but they have targets for each age group, eg athletics 1500m sub 7 minutes = silver, swimming 50m breaststroke sub x = bronze and so on. This means each pupil has targets and they are not discouraged. At the start of each term they do the beep test and are tested again each month so they can challenge themselves. Dd1 became more sporty in this environment than she had been in primary school. Dd2 has also become more sporty.

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