Pre-Prep Sports Day 2011
Setting the Scene
Wednesday 15th June, overcast and showers threatening; Pre-Prep pupils sitting cross-legged in neat rows alongside the running track, proudly sporting their house colours; families scattered along the other side on seats and rugs, brollies to the fore; a rope barrier preventing the families from straying onto the track; Mr Simon Brown, scorer, with pen poised; Mrs Harries, microphone in hand; the Pre-Prep staff, armed with clipboards and stickers at the ready; everyone waiting for the start, buzzing with anticipation.
Mrs H. announces the first race, and they’re off! Class RCP is the first to go, and the cheers start. (This is when new parents first discover their child’s house and what colour to cheer for.) It’s a flat race, and almost before they’ve started the children have breasted the tape and are receiving their stickers. The first and last in each race get the loudest cheers. Each class is split across several races, and with six classes there are a good number of races to see. After the flat races come the trickier apparatus races including space hopper, egg and spoon, beanbag, hockey sticks and sack race. And finally there is the house relay, with all the pupils involved. As it reaches its climax the children, staff and families become apoplectic with excitement.
But which house has won? With the lead too close to call before the relay, Queens and Grange end the day in a tie, and the house captains acknowledge the cheering crowds as they strut down the track holding the cup high.
Finally the stars of the future, the young siblings and visitors, have their race in the sun (which has now come out), and the day draws to a close.
Exhausted but triumphant (well the winning houses anyway), the pupils disappear to their classrooms to feed on well-deserved ice lollies. Their families, equally exhausted from the tension, cheering and chatting, are invited to quaff reviving cups of tea and gorge on delicious sandwiches and cake made by the catering staff. All agree it’s been a lovely occasion.
Angie and Tim Cole