6am on Friday 22nd June and I’m up and about getting myself ready for Sports Day! What a week of sport we have had at the Prep: with three County Tennis Finals; the U11 girls County Cricket Finals, and all of Year 4, 5 & 6 playing cricket for the School. What a week, and what a great way to finish, with arguably the best day of the Prep year, Sports Day!
My overnight sun-dance has worked, it’s a beautiful morning with clear blue skies. By 7am, I’m at Notcutts discussing with the ground staff what is needed. It looks amazing and is so peaceful ahead of a busy day. Down to work, getting the gazebos up and ready with the Estates Team. At 8am the Prep TAs arrive, with much needed flasks of coffee. Now it’s time to turn the gazebos into the House ‘homes’ for Sports Day. By the time we have finished, the first cars are arriving and parents, friends and grandparents are setting up picnic blankets and making sure that they have a great view of the finish line!
Everything is ready and we await the arrival of the children. It is great watching them head over, the obvious excitement clear for everyone to see. Children are in their House T-Shirts: yellows, reds, blues and green, as they appear in the distance, like an army ready for battle! Then, we are off with the first races. The morning events fly past, with a particular highlight watching Nursery race for the first time. Year 6 House and Vice-Captains from over the school year are on hand to help the children; it shows the care they have towards each other when they are able to help the children by name when they have finished their races.
As the Lower Prep races draw to a close, the Upper Prep pupils start to arrive. I have time for a quick bite to eat and a drink before the afternoon events start. This is a huge day for the Year 6 children who are participating for the last time, for some it is their seventh Prep Sports Day!
It is a brilliant afternoon, with outstanding individual performances as well as some fabulous team races; it is great to witness! Sports Day is competitive, but the lovely thing about it is that everyone gets to have a go at running, jumping or throwing, it is inclusive and nobody misses out. The camaraderie of our pupils is a pleasure to see, the care that they show each other is obvious.
Before I know it, the last races have been run and it’s time for the results! Well done Yelland for pipping Notcutt to the overall trophy, and well done to all the pupils on a fabulous day.
Sports Day is the only day in the school calendar that brings the whole school community together from Nursery to Year 6. At the family picnic between the Lower Prep Sport morning and the Upper Prep afternoon there must have been over 700 people at Notcutts! It is a real team effort from so many different departments within school, Estates, Catering, Prep staff and it makes me very proud to be tasked with leading Sport at Ipswich Prep School.