Sports Day is coming… – Joe Barraclough

The sun rises above fields marred by long jump pits and well-run track. The Collingwood relay elite practise baton changes relentlessly. Sports day is coming.

Every year, as a standard occurrence, that event reoccurs. It is spoken of with reverence by some, and reluctance by others. The divide is a simple one: those whom Sports Day glorifies, glorify it in turn. Those whom it ignores and turns aside for such menial duties as the refilling of water bottles, would surely like to ignore it in the same manner, setting it aside as something reserved for the skilled and athletic among us.

Bella Murrison: glorified by the day.

It is no secret that I am in the latter group. I would sooner lie quilted in bed watching ‘Game of Thrones’ than pretend to enthusiastically support my house’s competitors. Picture me, if you will, or any other in my position, last year. I sat on the grass, clapped occasionally and reluctantly, and ate the varied foodstuffs laid out so generously for my sampling. Every so often, I journeyed through the heat to refill water bottles. A drone flew overhead in actions which have since been questioned as to their legality, but at least did produce reportedly excellent footage of the events. I took flapjack-bite-bets on whether anyone could strike it out of the sky with a discuss or javelin.

Joe, second from left, glorified mainly in the school block. And proud of it.

This year will likely be little different, apart, perhaps, from the suspicious absence of drone activity above public events. Once again, I was volunteered for the maximum number of events. Once again, like so many, I failed to qualify even for one. The same names will be lauded as last year, with a small number of newcomers rising to claim titles of honour whilst the vast majority sit ignominious, wishing we were doing something else.

It is, of course, beyond my means, reason, and purpose to call for some great uprising against Sports Day, or even the compulsory nature of it. I will leave you, therefore, with one final thought, a simple question to challenge your perception of the many and glorious merits of Sports Day: what is the Senior Boys relay final compared to ‘the Battle of the Bastards’?

sports day
4×4 Relay and Game of Thrones’ famous BoB episode: similarly confusing?


3 thoughts on “Sports Day is coming… – Joe Barraclough

  • June 23, 2016 at 11:44 am

    I enjoyed this Joe. Some might say that each week those that excel academically are glorified in every Headmaster’s Distinction or some such academic reward – at least sports day is only once a year….whereas academically gifted students are (rightly) lauded most weeks in assembly…

    • June 23, 2016 at 3:20 pm

      Indeed, sir, such a point could well be made, particularly with subject prizes at speech day taken into similar consideration, although it could similarly be argued that weekly sports reports in assembly fulfil a similar role in terms of sports. If I were moved to further defend my arguments, I would debate rather that the only way for there be true equality in such things would be to acknowledge none of them. This too, I openly recognise as unsatisfactory, and thus followed my conclusion, which did not call for any reform or change at all.

  • June 27, 2016 at 8:34 am

    So you’re criticising an event for glorifying those who find success in it? Fundamentally, that’s how the world works. Musicians and footballers become famous because they are good at what they do, assuming they’re famous for the right reasons of course. What if someone were to belittle prize giving in assembly for academics because people who don’t achieve these prizes themselves would rather ignore other people being rewarded? I’d much rather be overshadowed by people who are actually good at these things than submit to limelight communism.

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