15 June, 2022

Sports Day 2022

Sports Day: Unity & Community at BISC-LP

At the time of writing, we are just 9 days away from the annual BISC, LP Sports Day, a tradition firmly embedded in the calendar of British schools. Whether it’s primary or secondary, private or state, somewhere near the end of the school year, schools will cancel regular lessons and dedicate a day towards physical activity. Most of the activities on offer are familiar to anyone who has seen track and field; think sprints, hurdles, high jump, javelin, etc. but there are many that you would never see outside of a school sports day. Tradition holds that the egg and spoon race, tug-of-war, and the sack race – where children climb into a ratty, hessian potato sack and jump their way to the finish line – are just as, if not more, celebrated than any other event. If you’re still not convinced as to the quirkiness of school sports day, I just ask you to look up ‘welly wanging’.

So, why has Sports Day become such an integral part of school life, and why do we choose to follow this tradition at BISC, LP?

Unlike many other competitive situations, Sports Day is for everyone. Participation from all children is encouraged and usually expected. It doesn’t matter whether you are a star athlete in your class, whether you play for a travel soccer team, or compete at the state level in gymnastics. The nature of the activities at Sports Day means there is something for everyone, and everyone can do something.

It is also an important day for generating a sense of pride and unity. Organizing students into different houses, Hogwarts-style, is commonplace, and many schools foster healthy competition by pitting houses against each other throughout the academic year. The brightly colored T-shirts we wear help everyone identify who is a part of their team and feel like they are part of something bigger.

And we shouldn’t forget that Sports Day is a culmination of an entire P.E. unit. The events are practiced by the children for several weeks beforehand. During lessons, the older children learn to set personal targets, develop more fluid mechanics, and improve their understanding of what success means to them as an individual. Lessons are frequently punctuated with shouts of ‘Yes – I got gold!’ or ‘Mr. Webb, that’s the longest jump I’ve done!’ Our youngest children learn to take turns, be part of a team, and follow the rules. As the years go by, their skills continue to build, and Sports Day is a great marker of progress.

Finally, and particularly important in these recent years, Sports Day is a celebration of community. This Sports Day will be the first time since 2019 that our whole community will be in one place at one time: children, staff, family, and friends. Whether you are Blackhawk, Dayton, Eastman, or Halsted, everyone will cheer together, compete together, celebrate together, and just… be… together.

We can’t wait to see you!

Caroline Gordon, PE Teacher & IPC Leader & Adam Webb, Director of Athletics