These are organised for Early Years (aged 3-5); Key Stage 1 (aged 5-7); Key Stage 2 (aged 7-11) and our children in the secondary section of the school (aged 11-18).
This was the second year of our Early Years Sports Day. The emphasis was firmly placed on participation and enjoyment as children tried a number of different activities all based around a superheroes theme. The students and staff dressed accordingly and there was a wonderful carnival atmosphere. It was all tremendous fun. The aforementioned emphasis continued through the other Sports Days, which comprise more conventional athletic events.
In the primary section of the school, our core values are respect and kindness. Sports Day gave our children plenty of opportunities to demonstrate these values and they certainly grabbed them. All runners were cheered on by an enthusiastic audience, comprising their peers, parents and staff who celebrated the endeavour of everyone regardless of where they finished, whilst new school records were greeted by widespread cheers.
I witnessed two boys helping each other through their 600-metre race, finishing hand in hand in a demonstration of mutual support and kindness. I also witnessed a Wing Priow team spontaneously shake hands with all members of the team that had just beaten them.
In many ways, it was an extension of what we, at BISP, try to do on a day-to-day basis. Children were challenged to see how well they could do in a range of events, including those in which they were less confident as well as those in which they felt comfortable.
A safe, supportive environment provided by enthusiastic and encouraging staff gave the children the confidence and the opportunity to practise the life skills of doing their best with the task at hand, keeping going even when it is tough and learning to win and lose with equal grace.
Baron de Courbetin, founder of the International Olympic Committee, summed it up nicely more than a century ago: “The most important thing... is not to win but to take part, just as the most important thing in life is not the triumph but the struggle. The essential thing is not to have conquered but to have fought well.”
Kenneth Page is the Primary Principal at British International School, Phuket – BISP. It is an English medium, coeducational, day and boarding school. Visit their website – www.bisphuket. ac.th – for more information.