Every corridor in the school was buzzing with excitement. For weeks I’d been noticing that PE lessons had lost all variety, concentrating exclusively on the same team events whilst wearing matching outfits. Group skipping and tugs of war were all the rage in this girls’ middle school.
When Sports Day finally rolled around the students were more than ready to fight for first place. Not one student left their team outfits or their relentless enthusiasm at home. Eight hours of competition and the cheering did not dip once. Upon discovery of the rather, generous financial incentive for the first places team, I began to understand why.
I found myself glued to watching the day’s events unfold, from the opening ceremony complete with a full, brass band to the dance club’s uncomfortably, mature performance at it’s close. It was already so different to any Sports Day I had been a part of in England. Then the events began.
When I was at school I recall failing miserably at the high jump and nearly taking off other competitors’ limbs in the javelin event on Sports Days. Not here. There were timed handstands, human pyramids and karaoke competitions instead. Indignation quickly faded when I found myself swept up in the chaos and surrounded by cheering students wearing the most ridiculous hats known to man.
It may not have been the serious, athletic event that I’m accustomed to but it was undoubtedly the most fun I have ever seen students have in my time in Korea and in fact, at any school Sports Day worldwide.
I always did believe that you can’t go wrong with a spot of commando crawling.