Last week children ran their cross country races. It was Aniel Smith’s first big event for VAS and he organised it very well, with lots of help from parents and teachers. However, the stars of the show were the children.
The cross country highlights all the personalities we have in the school. Now we all know that not everyone likes running the cross country race. Just listening to the teachers talk, some of them had fond memories and others had awful memories of cross country. Our children are no different. We like every child to participate, because, who knows, there might just be a long distance runner hidden inside the most unassuming child, about to emerge.
There were the children who came to sickbay in the morning before cross country, with all sorts of ailments. Our brand new year 0 children had no idea where they were going and for what, so they were excited/apprehensive as they walked to the course. Then there were the children who openly said that they didn’t mind where they came in the race, as long as they weren’t last! There were non English speakers, new to New Zealand, who had no idea what a cross country race was. There were children who had formulated a strategy with their parents and there were children who had formed strategies with their friends based around who had strengths in which part of the course.
Then they were off! Even though we give them advice about pacing themselves, they all sprint the first 50 metres. It was fascinating to watch, not just for the winners, but to see how all the children dealt with the challenge. Every single child who ran the cross country put their all into it. It was so heartening to see the determination to finish the race in so many of the children. There were children who were struggling a bit but they did not stop, they kept at it. They had the resilience and determination to succeed, and they achieved their goal – finishing the race. There were the children who weren’t physically able to run the whole race, but, with the support of a classmate, a teacher aide or a teacher running with them, they finished the race. They were determined to do it. The look of delight on their faces was something wonderful.
The way children finished the race also spoke volumes about their characters. There were children humble in winning and children gracious in defeat. There were children whose disappointment at not winning or not placing in the top eight spilled over into tears. There were children who were beaming and proud because they finished. For me, one heart warming moment came when one of our non English speakers, who came last, came up to me the next day and said that he didn’t think he could do it but he did. He said it with a huge smile.
Yes we are proud of the winners, proud of the participants’ attitudes, proud of the resilience shown in disappointment, proud of the determination shown to finish. When you think about it, all these are learnings for real life.
With spring supposedly here, it is a good time to look at your child’s uniform. We are still seeing brightly coloured socks and tights – just a reminder that they need to be black, navy or white. Kate in the uniform shop has sourced some great options for tights and socks, including ones with VAS logo. Don’t forget that all our uniform items are mix and match for girls and boys. There are already girls in the school wearing the navy polos and shorts.