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Survival Guide : Sports Day

As the end of term looms the diary is filling up with fetes, fairs, parent’s evenings, school reports and Sports Day. I can remember the Sports Day of old when we all sat in our shorts, t-shirts and daps and waited patiently for the egg and spoon race, then one of the parents handed out trophies and we all went home and had Strawberry Mivvi. Years ago I ran in the parents’ race and came a respectable 3rd, that’s the first and last time I have ever run and it wont happen again just so you know. At Sports Day one year the dads all limbered up and it was a highly competitive race, blink and you missed it!

This morning my chum Sarah Walker was discussing Sports Day with Andrew Peach on BBC Radio Berkshire and she said it was her first Sports Day, she said she would be asking for tips so I thought I would share some with her and for anyone else looking for ways in which to get through the day, so here they are in no particular order:-

Go early and park the car in the shade, or if no shade then go early and find a place with shade! Park safely and legally, making sure you do not block any drives. Leave the windows open ajar, there’s nothing worse than getting into a hot car and finding you can’t drive as the steering wheel is too hot to handle. Make sure you follow the advice from the Police and remove any valuables. Whatever you do DO NOT do your shopping before the first race, you don’t want to come back to a ready made meal.

The night before pop a couple of drops of lavender oil in a bowl of water and scrunch a flannel in it, then wring out gently and place in a Tupperware box (other brands are available) or food bag and pop in the freezer. Take the box or bag out just as you are leaving for Sports Day and then you can dab yourself as the day goes on. You can also leave out the lavender oil and have a flannel or sponge for a teethig baby.

Take a thermos of tea with a few extra cups for the parents that might be gasping for a cup of tea. Even if you don’t win the parents’ race at least you will win on the refreshments!

Wash a bag of grapes and pop them in the freezer overnight, take them out at the same time as the flannels and you have a nice frozen treat that won't make a sludgy mess like an ice cream.

Put some water bottles in the freezer or if like me you have no space then take out some ice and smash it up and pour it into a bottle.

If you do have space in your freezer put some lemon, lime, pineapple, strawberries, basically any fruit you have to had and pop it into an ice tray, when it melts you’ve got flavoured water and something to nibble on.

Take a hat, it’s not a fashion parade but it is summer so make sure you have some shade. Sports fields are not known for their acres of shade so best to take your own!

Don’t forget the back of the neck, either get a tea towel and pop it under your hat or wear a neckerchief/scarf. You don’t need to look all Foreign Legion but that’s the picture!

Take more than one blanket, chances are someone will forget theirs and will be eternally grateful for yours. If you’ve got space for a chair then take that too, there’s nothing worse than sitting down for a long time and getting up with a dead leg.

Tissues are very important. You’d have to be a cold hearted parent not to blink away a little tear. One year my eldest was in the race and saw that her friend Duncan was lagging behind. She stopped, turned round, ran to him and took his hand so they ran to the finish line together so that he wasn’t last. That random act of kindness might bag your child a special award at the end of term so make sure you get plenty of tissues.

Suncream is so important. There’s nothing worse than burning and you need to protect your skin. Slap it on when you first get up and then keep topping it up throughout the day. My lot all react to the coloured suncream so avoid that just incase someone asks you for some suncream.

Don't forget the sunglasses. I've written this blog post about eye care and sunshine.

Put your phone on silent and in your bag. You’re at Sports Day to watch your little ones do their thing, not to share with the world that you are at Sports Day. A few photos here and there will do, but be wary of posting them anywhere without permission.

Be wary of people videoing! Nothing worse than mentioning something you might not want others to hear and then it being broadcast!

Take snacks for smaller supporters and share them out at regular intervals, likewise for a few toys.

Wear loose fitting and comfortable clothes.

One last thing, put a bottle of wine in the fridge so that when you get back you can pour yourself a long and cold glass of wine!

Hope you have fun at sports day!


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