Every school celebrates its Sports Day and, to this all, the children very longingly look forward to. My school the St. Andrews Sr. Secondary School also has its Sports Day every year sometime in the month of November.
The month of November is earmarked for the occasion, as, at this time, the weather is congenial for a long span of games on the field. When this day is about to come, there appears to be a lot of activity in the entire school premises as take lime. Avocado so there is a lot of overtime beyond the scheduled hours of routine work.
Weeks before the Sports Day, children start giving their names for different events, and then, after the school hours, practices start. The children, who do not participate in any events, get other duties of the like of making relevant charts, making lists of games and participants etc.
It is obvious that something is on for, at least for a fortnight before the event, studies are put as if on the hold, except of course for the STDs X and XII. The rest of the school is seen bustling with enjoyment and merriment for all enjoy such events.
All the children, all the teachers and even all the other non-teaching staff seems to busy with some work or the other. This is because everyone - yes, everyone is assigned a duty to see that the Day passes off well.
After a fortnight of being over busy with the preparations for the Sports Day, at last the day arrives. The lawns are so very meticulously done up, white chalk powder lines are installed for different events. Victory stands are beautifully done up to make the victors feel proud of being there after the events.
All the children are so well groomed in their white uniforms that, it is a sight to watch and admire. To cap it all, the staff members are also very smartly dressed specially those involved with the different events - they blend so well with the smart children that, the total effect is just smashing.
The day starts with the usual Assembly and then, all of us are instructed to go to our allotted places on the lawn, class wise. There are volunteers from the senior children who guide the smaller ones to their respective places and soon all is set as per the plan.
As soon as all is settled, the Chief Guest arrives, and the Principal goes out to receive him/ her. The Chief Guest is taken to the dais and as soon as he/ she are settled, the Principal says a few words to introduce the guest to all, and requests him to say a few words and declare the Sports open.
Now, the guest speaks usually on the importance of Sports and Sports Day, and declares the opening of the function. As soon as these two important speeches are over, the Chief Guest declares the Sports Day open, land there and then the events start.
One by one the events take place in a very well disciplined manner and the winners listed and made to stand on the Victory Stand and cheered by one and all.
The games and Sports last for about two hours and then comes the most interesting moment of the function - the moment of appreciating the winners by awarding them gifts and prizes, cups and shields.
This is the ultimate moment of pleasure for winners when, amidst loud clapping and shouting of cheers, they get their rewards for their good work - from the Chief Guest.
Even though I am not a very great enthusiast of games or sports, I just love this day and look forward to it through the year. I also make it a point to attend school on this day every year though I never participate. The thrill, the excitement, and then, the pleasure of winning are all moments worth seeing and enjoying.
I love to see my friends and others participating with their hearts and souls with a complete involvement in the games. Their victory boosts up even my morale.
Every year, after seeing this event, I decide that, I should also try to take part, but, the enthusiasm soon fades away as, I must admit that, I am not too keen a lover or fan of sports and games. I do love to watch it all but; I never feel the urge to participate.
Today a school without games and sports is unthinkable, as sports and games have become an integral element of present-day education. Formerly teaching consisted of merely imparting the basic skills of 3R’s (Reading, Writing and Arithmetic).
But true learning is much more than that. Today education is an all-round development of the child. In this respect games and sports play a significant role. It is in this backdrop that most schools organise their Annual Sports Day.
Last year, my school’s Annual Sports Day was held on 20th Oct. Generally a month of preparation precedes the day. A month prior to the event, all the children of the school were divided into four houses and respective sports groups such as senior, junior and sub-junior. Once the children are allotted their houses and groups, the various Outdoor Games begin. It is the most interesting and the most spirited part of the whole event.
Immediate preparation for the day commenced two days prior to the event. Different works such as, the preparation of the welcome gate, pandel, flag post, tracks, Olympic torch, decoration of the area, arrangement of the prizes, etc., were allotted to the different houses for completion. On 19th Oct, the final touches were given to the preparation and last rehearsals were held for the inaugural function and the cultural show.
The Sports Day commenced at 7.50
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a.m. the following day with the welcoming of the chief guest. Our chief guest for the occasion was the newly appointed District Deputy Commissioner. He was solemnly welcomed at the gate by a group of Wangala dancers (Garo dancers) and by the school authorities. He was garlanded at the gate and given a bouquet of flowers as a token of official welcome. Thereafter, he was led to the specially erected pandal by the Wangala dancers.
As soon as he reached the Pandal, he hoisted the School’s Sports flag amidst the singing of the school anthem by the children, which was followed by an impressive march past, lighting of the Olympic flame and the oath-taking ceremony.
The chief guest then addressed the students wherein he outlined briefly the value of sports and games in student’s life and possibilities of career options in this field. The inaugural function came to a close with the display of a short drill. Sports events commenced soon after this.
The races, throws, jumps and the various items followed one by one. At 3.00 p.m the sports events in the field came to a close with the last item of musical chair for the staff. The concluding programme commenced immediately after this.
The chief event of the concluding function was the group dances performed by the different houses and the prize distribution by the chief guest. The last item of the eventful day was the de-hoisting of the sports flag by the chief guest, signalling the official closing of the school’s Annual Sports Day for the year.
Annual Sports Day is an eagerly awaited event in my school. It is a time of great fun and joy in the school as the days prior to the event as well as the day itself are marked by tournaments, matches and various competitions.
Apart from teaching us good values such as, sportsmanship, proper spirit of competition, team-spirit, co-operation, discipline in the field, etc. Annual Sports Day makes school life lively, interesting, enjoyable and memorable.