After being cancelled and post poned twice, I finally was able to experience Sports Day! Ours took place on 9/30 and the weather was perfect! I won’t be able to post many pictures on this one because I’m not allowed to post pictures of my students (well, at least not the 1st and 2nd years, but it’s just safer to not do it at all). I do have a few of the school grounds I can put up.
So I arrived really early to help set up. They didn’t really need my help since the students were already on top of it! Still, I asked if there was anything I could do to help and I was asked to serve tea to the PTA when they arrived. I bounced back and forth between serving tea and telling people where they could stand/sit. Around 8:30 the opening ceremony started and each team marched past the tents and stage with their team flag. I mentioned this in a previous post, but at Hokubu, the three years are divided into four different teams (Green, Yellow, Red, Blue). This is because some events have only one year competing. With the three years interspaced between four teams, they still have someone to cheer for them while competing.
There were quite a few events; some traditional relays, others…not so much. Of course they had the relay races, the sprints and tug o’ war, but there were also others that I had never seen before, but thought were amazing! One relay was called the Dice Relay. Two people from each team would be holding onto a ring and would stand on the opposite side of the track where the finish line was. At the start of the relay, the pairs would decide which way to go; left or right. They would have to run until kocho-sensei threw a large die into the air; if the number was even, then you had to run left. If it was odd, you had to run right. It was so funny to see students scrambling to turn around when the die didn’t roll in their favor.
Another was called Typhoon. I believe this was the 1st year game; they grouped up at one end of the field in rows of five. The first row would take this giant pole and run down the field with it; they would have to spin around a cone and then keep running to the next cone. After reaching the other side, hey would run back towards their team and yell “Typhoon!” and sweep the pole underneath their team. The team and to jump over it and then duck as it came back up an around for the next row to take. I really wanted to do this one! The 2nd year game was a race which involved walking on people’s backs. One person would literally walk over people to reach the finish line. Baaaasically human bridge. I was more concerned about the student’s safety than anything!
The 3rd years did events according to gender. So the 3rd year girls did a dance and then the boys did an event showing off… physical strength? That’s the best translation I could find; it was all about precision and strength and uniformity. It was impressive to see them make human pyramids!
I was in the middle of taking a video when my kocho-sensei comes up to me and says that it’s time for the PTA tug of war with one of the classes. I didn’t realize he wanted me to participate too! I didn’t follow him when he walked away and when he turned around to see if I was, he made a motion to follow. I did and as I got closer to the rope, I could hear all the students whispering and murmuring, “It’s Miranda-sensei! Is she going to play? What is she doing?” I joined the group doing tug o’ war and on my side, I had yellow and red 2nd years cheering for our side. Soooo they’re all students of mine. Once the game started they began chanting “Miranda-sensei, ganbare (which is like, do your best.)” It was so sweet! I left after two rounds, waving to my students as I returned to the tent and not seconds later one of my JTE’s comes to the tent saying they wanted me on the teacher’s team for the teachers vs. students match. I figured sure, why not. Now, I thought I would have to “lose” the match like I did with the previous one, but the teachers took it so seriously! They did a relay with the teachers and students too and I was asked to do that one as well, but I said I would sit out on that one because I could tell just by looking at their team that they were all runners. Mandi doesn’t run. If I am, you should probably be running too because something is most likely chasing me. The teachers won that rely too!
The day ended with the closing ceremony. I really enjoyed it! I look forward to doing more next year! I voiced with my teachers that I would love to help out on a team next year; we’ll see how it goes!
(Only pictures I found that did not show students’ faces)