The sun was shining and the birds were singing as the St Peters Lutheran School, 2017 Sports Day kicked off with enthusiastic team chants from a sea of yellow, red and green. It was a huge day out in the heat, with all students giving the activities and athletic events their best effort as they attempted multiple runs, jumps and throws in their varying forms.
Sports Day presents a medium to create important opportunities for students to contribute to their house team and more broadly the school community. Research shows this has the ability to cultivate an increased commitment to, or identification with, school leadership, attitudes and values (Taliaferro, 2010). Students at St Peters have a fantastic ‘have a go’ attitude, whereby the focus in Physical Education and Sport is on their personal performance and self-improvement, rather than winning. This transcends into Sports Day where we believe placing an emphasis on trying different events, having multiple attempts and seeing improvement in not just a distance or time result, but an increase in confidence and involvement in physical activity as an indication of winning. After all, fostering lifelong enjoyment and participation in physical activity is the main purpose of any school sporting event.
Many children do not consider themselves athletic and may dread or prefer not to play organised competitive school sports. Our Sports Day encourages those who are disengaged from sport to participate in and really enjoy something different from mainstream athletic competition. The ‘Life Be In It’ activities and afternoon circuit of events exemplify this. Through these activities, each and every student is able to experience the feeling of success and shine to reveal an aspect of their God given talents.
The competitive races are a highlight for many students and most do choose to compete. It was rewarding to see many students excel in the more competitive aspects of the day, whereby great sportsmanship was show by students, with handshaking, high fives and verbal affirmation from and towards their peers, irrespective of their own position or performance. We look forward to seeing many of our Year 4-7 students compete competitively at Sapsasa Athletics later in the year.
Taliaferro, L. A. (2010). Relationships Between Youth Sport Participation and Selected Health Risk Behaviors From 1999 to 2007. Journal of School Health, 399-410.