From Sports day to the Olympics.

You can tell that the summer term is almost over as the school sports day arrives.  Incredibly we have never once had a rainy sports day, what are the odds of that? Once again we arrived at Par track to watch our children giving their all, whilst we munched on strawberries being sold as a school fundraiser.  We have some very enterprising people on our PTA, I headed straight for the Pimms’ canopy only to discover that what they were selling may well have been fruity but it wasn’t intoxicating. Lured under false pretences – very clever! Sports day is one of those gorgeous moments in the school calendar where parents can lean over the rails and shout out encouragements and praise each other’s children and beam inwardly when their own children do well.  It’s even nicer to see the whole school running along the last runner to encourage them over the finishing line.
How very different in secondary school or rather I wouldn’t know if it was different as parents aren’t invited.  I don’t know if that’s a school thing or a pupil thing but I think it’s a damn shame.  To make matters worse my eldest doesn’t even know if he has won anything. He came first in some heats but then they didn’t do a heats final so presumably it’s down to the fastest time and furthest jump / throw. His sports day was two days ago, maybe he’ll find out in assembly tomorrow?  Year seven can be so difficult for children. They don’t know the routines of the new school and they’ve gone from being the top of the school, to being an after thought, right back at the beginning again.  It’s also another example of how the role of the parent gets pushed back. I know parents need to start giving their older children more space but as children hit their teens and start to take exams, they need more parental support not less, albeit in a more background capacity.
So, do I have an Olympic athlete on my hands, who knows?  Well, I do, and the answer’s I think not but I would have liked to have gone to the Olympics with the boys next year just to see and take part.  However, I’m afraid that the whole application business left me in the dark.  I went through various application forms and then had to make a stab at what I would like to see.  Having entered all the events I was interested in I discovered I had committed over £3000. Eek.  What if I got them all? How to give my bank manager a heart attack in one quick move.  The more I thought about it the more I realised it was a nonsense. “What if I successfully got tickets for Day 2 and Day 10?  Do I travel to London twice? Where do I stay?  Do I want to watch the sailing at Weymouth, what will I actually see?  Can I really justify the expense of the Opening Ceremony?”  In the end I gave up.  Apparently on some European sites you can simply buy the tickets for the events you want without this bizarre pot luck approach that we seem to have opted for and if that fails then next year I’m going to take the boys back to Par Track, get some gold chocolate coins and host my own Olympics, where the boys will of course win everything!

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