Why sports day should be banned

Posted Tuesday 9th July 2013   By Ericka Waller

So apparently there has been a surge in the sales of painkillers as competitive parents push themselves to the limit at their children’s sports days.

I would like to add to this and say that it’s not just the parent taking part in the race who may need a nurofen or two afterwards.

I was filming the husband taking part in the dad’s race and ended up being the one who hobbled home.

I’d better explain a couple of things before we go on.

1: The sports day at my daughter’s pre-school is held in a small hall.  A very small hall indeed. Even in very hot weather (don’t ask me why).
2. Golf balls were used as substitutes for eggs in the egg and spoon races in her sports day as it was deemed safer. NB: This decision was made by the person who also decided to hold the sports day in the very small hall.
3: My husband is very very competitive.

So picture the scene. Seven big burly dads who have been doing arm and leg stretches for half an hour at one end of the very small hall, and seven dutiful wives at the other end,  i-phones poised to film it and send to their mother-in-laws.

And then, crammed in all around them, are thirty over-excited children, high on coloured-icing from the cake sale, and being in a hall that is too hot and too small, cheering them on.

The tension was palpable  as the starter stood in the middle of the hall, whistle poised. (Thank god it was not a gun.)

The whistle blew.  The men were off!  Within three seconds there were golf balls bouncing all over the place.  Some men went back for them, some soldiered on regardless, while around them, “eggs” rained like bullets.

Women and children ran for their lives, screaming.

I was just about to make a run for it myself, when my husband dropped his own golf ball and made a split second decision that he would live to regret. (And he does, trust me.)

He decided to try and kick his golf ball “egg” to the finish line, then run as quickly as he could to follow it.

Three things happened.

First, I got hit smartly on the head with the golf ball he kicked (at me) (really hard).

Then, he crashed into me because he was running too fast to stop himself.

Then, he laughed.

As the chairperson of the pre-school I had taken it upon myself to do a risk assessment prior to the sports day taking place in the very small hall and had raised the likelihood of an accident occurring.

Much like when I speak to my children though, no one listens to me.

It’s Thing-one’s sports day on Thursday.  It will be held outside, but none the less, I will be watching from the safety of the car.

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