News Highlights

Pre-Prep Sports Day

Pre-Prep held their Sports Day last Tuesday afternoon on Hampstead Heath.

We had been watching the weather anxiously for days. Would we be facing 32˚ of heat? Would we be dodging severe thunderstorms? Would the ground be soggy or dry? All options were considered and plans made. As it happened the day was warm and cloudy, the ground dry enough to sit on, and the forecast promised it would stay that way.

The boys arrived at school dressed in their white PE kits and carrying, for the most part, refillable water bottles. They were bouncy, excited and raring to go. Morning lessons passed quickly and then at midday Mr Hoar and Miss Bruhn set off with Oliver and Leo, our Y7 helpers. They transported all the equipment to our chosen spot on Parliament Hill Fields and began to set up, measuring distances and laying down cones in straight, evenly spaced lines.

The rest of us marshalled the boys at one o’clock and, joined by a few parents, walked down to join them. There was certainly no lack of energy from the participants although I found myself wondering if they would be able to run in a straight line as walking in one proved tricky for some!

We always start with the classic running race and the lesson here seems to be that shorter legs do not mean slower. These boys are fast!

The sack race takes a different set of skills and from my vantage point at the finish line I am able to admire the range of techniques and facial expressions as the boys bounce towards me. Concentrated grin probably sums it up. Speed is not always an advantage here as some of the leaders collided and left the field open for the steadier jumpers.

Then followed the Hoop skip, 3-legged and the bean bag balance (or is that the holding-a-bean-bag-on-your-head-while-running race?) before we moved on to the team races.

Mr Hoar has come up with some super-imaginative ways to show off boys’ fitness and athleticism and there is something for everyone. It is great to see all the classes working together and supporting each other. Just because you are fast at running doesn’t mean you can balance an egg on a spoon or scuttle over the grass on all fours or keep a ball between your knees while jumping and flapping like a chicken.

There were a few tears, but not many. There were a few slips and bumps, but nothing serious. What there was a lot of was enjoyment, determination, sportsmanship and passion. Yes it is frustrating when your teammate drops the ball or when you are overtaken at the last second or when the rest of the runners are way ahead but these things did not phase them. There is always the next race.

First, second, fourth or last, just about every boy crossed the finish line with a smile on his face.

Well done all of you!