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.
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.
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’?