It’s like Groundhog Day every year! The annual swimming carnival consists of a sea of children, dressed in outrageous garb in their house colour, all simultaneously screaming out chants at the top of their lungs. The school even goes as far as to encourage the kids to scream even louder, awarding points to the house that is cheering the loudest.
I’m all for team spirit, but 500 kids voices, bouncing off the walls in the indoor swimming centre leaves me with a headache every year without fail. On a positive note, the cheering and swimming does exhaust the kids and so I know at least they will be eager to go to bed tonight.
I’ve never been one to encourage my kids to excel at carnivals because realistically it just locks me in to having to attend another one of these hideous days if they were to qualify for the next representative level. Luckily, my kids don’t actually have the skill to qualify for the next level, so I guess it is really a moot point!
Last year one of my daughters did qualify at the athletics carnival for ‘power javelin’. For those not in the know, a ‘power javelin’ is a piece of plastic pipe with a pointed end that the kids throw, before they are considered responsible enough to handle a real metal javelin. In the three throws my daughter got to qualify in the heats, two throws landed about 5 metres away from her and one strangely sailed through the air and landed in second place. This freakish throw was not due to skill or raw talent, rather (I think) a gust of wind that made it float along. Having come second in the competition, she had to then represent the school at the district carnival. We tried in vain to work out the correct method to throw a ‘power javelin’ threw YouTube tutorials, but could not master throwing very far. So a day off school and a three hour return trip to the athletics track saw my daughter throw the ‘power javelin’ the shortest distance in the field. Whilst she was disappointed, I personally was thrilled that she hadn’t fluked another good throw that would see us having to attend yet another carnival.
Some people are born athletes and then some people are born into my family! I love to encourage my kids to compete so they are involved, but I will never put any pressure on them to excel, as one carnival per sporting pursuit per year is more than enough!
(Photo courtesy of arztsamui, freedigitalphotos.net)