Monday was a great day to have the cross country. It didn’t rain and wasn’t too cold. Given the miserable winter we’ve had, we were very lucky with the weather. The cross country was held at a new venue for the first time in years. It was also organised by someone new, Rachael Wilcock our PE and Sport specialist this year, so another first. This year, the course included a hill which was also a first.
So, from our perspective, how did it stack up? It all went according to plan and was run very smoothly with help from parents. The children enjoyed the different route and Rachael was very pleased it went so well. What would we change for next year? A couple of things; firstly, we liked Martyn Wilson park due to it being more sheltered for children waiting either before or after their race, so we will probably use that venue again. We will make the course longer for the senior students -they were all so well prepared, they ran it very quickly. We will also organise some Portaloos.
Cross country is one of those events where children either love it or hate it! I know that parents I spoke with have memories consistent with this; a love/hate memory. We spend the build up to cross country encouraging children to train hard and try their best. Rachael has been training them during their PE times. Running Club is an opportunity for those children who really love cross country to prepare themselves through weekly organised runs. It is then up to individuals to either practice more in their own time, or undertake the run with the preparation through class PE lessons.
It is interesting being a spectator at cross country. The hooter goes and every child takes off, sprinting furiously along the first 50 metres. The words ‘pace yourself’ have no meaning. By 200metres, the field has already spread out. The able runners have settled to a good pace, already at the front of the pack. The middle ability runners are intently focussed on their running and the children who haven’t prepared quite so well have slowed considerably, but are still running at this stage. This is such a great analogy for a normal classroom. The keen and eager students intent on doing the best they can, a group working away to the best of their ability and then some students struggling a bit, but trying very hard.
As the race gets to the three quarter mark, those who are struggling at the back are joined by ‘encouragers’. The ‘encourager’ might be a fellow student who has already finished who has come back to help them. The ‘encourager’ might be their parent running alongside them at the edge of the track. It might be their teacher, or teacher aide running with them. It doesn’t matter who it is, the point of the ‘encourager’ is to offer support to the struggling runner; to show them that someone understands their struggle and that someone wants them to enjoy success along with that great feeling of accomplishment at finishing. A bit like the classroom really.
Congratulations to the winners and placegetters who will go on to represent VAS at the zone cross country. Congratulations to those students who ran their best and finished the race feeling proud of themselves. Huge thank you to all our ‘encouragers’ who ran with and beside those who were struggling and congratulations to those who were struggling for persevering and getting there in the end.
Thanks to all who helped organise the event, Rachael, House Captains, parents and teachers. I must also thank our ‘encourager’ Constable Gordon who ran every single race with the children who were at the tail end. A special mention needs to go to the two year 6 girls, Emma Irwin and Cate Cleland who were special ‘encouragers’ in one of our races.
What great people we have in our community!
A silver bracelet was picked up at the cross country. If you’ve lost one see Kinzsa at the office.
Another plea to all of you who drive to school to collect your children. I do road patrol on Friday afternoon on Victoria Avenue and I am dismayed at the poor parking and driving of some of parents.
• Please do not park across a driveway. Even if you are sitting in your car, it is illegal and creates tension between our neighbours and the school.
• Please do not park on the broken yellow lines. It is illegal and blocks the vision of the patrols who cannot then judge when to put their signs out.
• Please do not park in the bus stop. It is illegal and the bus then holds up traffic while you move your car.
• Please do not stop in the middle of the road and beckon your children to run out onto the road to get into the car. It is so dangerous and creates a real holdup making it even more difficult for our patrols.
Yes, all of these things happen every single Friday. All we want is for everyone to be safe.