The fun swimming gala

I’ve said it before and I’ll no doubt say it again – our primary school isn’t very good at sport. They do enter lots of competitions, but they don’t do much training or necessarily choose their strongest team.

My daughter loves swimming and was very excited to be picked for a gala at her absolute favourite swimming pool – the outdoor pool. Now I’m not a lover of swimming and, although the outdoor pool is very beautiful, we don’t go very often as it’s usually too cold (in my opinion). My daughter, of course, is made of much sturdier stuff.

Having remarkably come fourth in the relay in a school swimming gala recently, could my daughter’s team equal or improve on that in the latest gala?

The day before the gala, she discovered it wasn’t your usual, serious swimming gala. It was a fun gala, with races like the ‘bucket race’ and the ‘ice cream race’. She wasn’t entirely sure what those races were about, but she was picked for them anyway.

So, on a grey, not particularly warm, slightly drizzly morning, I went to watch her in the gala. The parents were wearing coats. The kids were standing around in wet swimwear, despite being told to put clothes on or wrap themselves in a towel. Sturdy stuff.

There were seven schools taking part and every race was a relay, with most races having a boys’ race and a girls’ race.

In the very first event, the beach ball race, in which they had to swim keeping a beach ball under control, the boys from her school came first. First?! Then my daughter swam in the girls’ beach ball race and they came second. Unbelievable!

We weren’t in with a chance of winning, were we? Maybe our school is better at fun sport than proper sport?

Then there was a fourth place and another second. It was still looking pretty good. Their team was a bit of a mixed bag, with some very good swimmers and some not so good. But it looked like the other teams were a mixed bag too.

The ice cream race involved swimming with a large inflatable ice cream. It didn’t matter how you held it, as long as you did hold it. My daughter was the first swimmer in her team and  set off at a very good pace, holding the ice cream in one hand and swimming with the other, winning her leg. Things slowed down a bit after that, but they came third, or maybe fourth.

Swimming, Swimming gala, Daughter, Loud 'n' Proud, School

The ‘canoe race’ was a strange combination of swimming woggles tied together, with two swimmers holding onto it and swimming together. That looked like very hard work. But the biggest fail came in the ‘hat and sunglasses’ race. The hat and sunglasses weren’t provided by the organisers, teams had to provide them themselves and our team had a rather big, floppy Australian hat, which didn’t take kindly to being in the water and restricted the kids’ vision to such an extent that one child swam her entire leg in the wrong lane.

The bucket race involved two boys and two girls and a seaside bucket containing a ball. The kids had to swim on their backs and keep the ball inside the bucket. My daughter is like lightning on her back and swam the first leg. She won it. Some of the kids were holding the buckets up high out of the water as they swam, goodness knows how. One of the kids from my daughter’s team dropped the ball, but didn’t realise. So the ball remained where it was, until the boy swimming the final leg picked it up. They came a respectable third. Or maybe a respectable fourth.

They came a respectable third in the final race too, a proper relay with no comedy props and two boys and two girls.

At the presentation, the cheers got increasingly louder as they announced the teams in reverse order. I’m sure I wasn’t the only one not only cheering the teams who came fifth, sixth and seventh for their sportsmanship, but also because it meant we weren’t fifth, sixth or seventh ourselves!

We were fourth. Out of seven. One place off the medals. Definitely respectable.

And the teacher knows exactly which hat she won’t be using next year!



Author: Sarah Mummy

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  1. Oh I love that pool! It’s great for fun and proper swimming. Well done to them all, what good sports. I used to swim competitively and I hated ‘fun’ galas, they made me cross. I’m glad your daughter isn’t grumpy like me!

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    • Ha ha, I can understand a teenager who swam competitively hating fun galas! Luckily they seem to work well for our not-very-sporty school! x

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  2. Fantastic! Well done to all of them. I know just what you mean about kids being made of sturdier stuff – I would be shivering by an open air pool in this weather too. In fact, if it’s not over 30 degrees in the shade, I find it positively chilly! #LoudnProud

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    • Thanks very much! I need about 28 degrees to contemplate the outdoor pool! 🙂

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  3. I love that you share these sporting events even when your kids don’t come first. It’s the taking part that counts, right? Was your daughter disappointed? I think the hat definitely let them down! Sounds like a good achievement though. Well done all.

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    • It’s absolutely the taking part that counts! At our school, not coming last is pretty much winning! My daughter wasn’t disappointed because she was pleased with her own performance – winning both legs where she started the race.

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  4. Well done to your little girl and the rest of her team. I guess in the end, it doesn’t really matter what place they got… It’s the fact that they did their best 😉 #loudnproud

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    • Absolutely! They enjoyed themselves and they tried hard. And they didn’t come last, which is always a bonus!

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  5. Ha! I love the idea of all these events: it sounds like great opportunity for the kids to have fun AND be competitive at the same time. Well done to your daughter’s team in their commendable 4th.

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    • Thanks very much, they had a great time and it was fun to watch too. They were pretty pleased with their 4th!

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    • Thanks very much, it was great fun!

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  6. Wow, well done them. How bizarre though, I’ve never heard of fun races like this before

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    • I hadn’t heard of them before, either! She only found out the day before that it was going to be like this. They loved it, though! It was nice that they all got to do a few races.

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  7. I am actually surprised at how much I enjoy the boys sporting events – I am even looking forward to Sports Day providing it doesn’t get rained off again. Well done them, taking part is the most important thing x

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    • Thanks very much! I’ve been loving the kids’ sporting events for years now. They’re one of my favourite part of parenting – even if our school does usually come last in everything! x

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  8. Ah that sounds such a lovely competition for the kiddos! I think my girl does swimming when she gets higher up the school. I bet she would love this! x

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    • I bet she would! At our school they do swimming in years 3 and 5, which is probably pretty standard for most schools. x

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  9. I’ve never seen a gala like this with things like ice creams and canoes but it sounds like they did so well. Well done to them, 4th is definitely most respectable. Especially in an outdoor cold pool!

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    • Somehow kids don’t seem to feel the cold – I have no idea why! It was a great event to watch and they loved taking part 🙂

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