It’s nearly the end of term and, for primary schools up and down the country, that means that the annual school sports day approaches. Pupils and parents gather on school fields up and down the country to watch their children compete in awe-inspiring events, such as the magnificent three-legged race, and the truly daring egg and spoon race.
Of course, depending on whether you are a spectator or participant, there is one event that is met with either excitement or dread; the parents’ race. Here parents from all walks of life reluctantly come together to race one another in a bid to see who can claim first prize. It’s a chance to relive past glory (or shame), and to show off your sporting skills. How can you possibly resist the opportunity? Let’s meet some of your competitors.
The Lycra Clad Parent
She turns up to drop her kids off at school every day clad head to foot in Lycra. As a result, you’re convinced that she must either spend all day, every day in the gym, or she works as a fitness instructor. You therefore know that there is no way you will actually win against her. Then the race starts and the truth becomes apparent. She hasn’t done any running in about ten years, she just really likes wearing Lycra (it is pretty comfortable, after all).
The Ultra Competitive Parent
You have heard her talk loudly at the school gates about how she casually ran a marathon at the weekend. She mentioned it a few times just to make sure everyone heard. She’s donned her fitness tracker and is first into the warm up area to begin her stretches. She mentions her times from last year’s event and whether she will make a personal best today. The race is only 100m and you have to do it backwards with a beanbag balanced on your head, but to her, it’s an event of Olympic proportions.
The Totally Wasn’t Prepared for This Parent
It’s a beautiful summer’s day and she has dressed accordingly. She’s wearing a pair of ankle wedges and a lovely floral floaty summer dress. She looks stunning, until she trips half way through the race on her aforementioned wedges, does a forward roly-poly in the momentum of her fall and exposes her knickers to the entire crowd. No one has seen her at the school gates since.
The Completely Professional Parent
She’s had to take time out of her busy schedule to attend this event and has arrived in full business gear, complete with suit jacket and briefcase. She has agreed to take part to show her kids that she’s a good team player, but has to stop half way through the race to answer a phone call.
The Task Avoider Parent
She knows this moment is coming and she’s dreading it. She hated sports day as a kid and this brings back horrible memories. She hangs at the back of the crowd hoping she won’t be spotted, but unfortunately the school administrator has the eyesight of an eagle and quickly finds her. She considers taking her child’s school jumper and stuffing it up her t-shirt in an attempt to look pregnant but decides the lack of a baby in the autumn term would be too complicated to explain.
So, she fakes a limp and claims she has a sprained ankle. For the next week, she’s inundated with offers from concerned parents to do the school run for her. She secretly feels guilty whilst enjoying the extra moments to herself.
The Perpetually Late Parent
She’s conspicuous at the school gates for her absence. Despite her best efforts, she never makes it out of her house with her children before 8.50am and she lives 15-minutes from the school. Her kids have to do the walk of shame through the office most mornings. Sports day is no different. She turns up to the field just as the rest of the parents begin the race and she hastily rushes over to them. Thankfully for her, all the rushing around she does from being perpetually late has meant that she’s actually quite fit and she manages to finish ahead of the Lycra clad parent.
The In It for a Laugh Parent
She knows there is no chance of her winning, but life is too short to care about such trivial matters and she’s always happy to laugh at herself. She embraces her lack of sporting prowess and instead of running she twirls, skips, and even flosses her way to the finish line, taking a bow at the end. All of this to the great embarrassment of her children, who are sat in the crowd wondering how they can pretend she’s not related to them.