At a recent sports day for young children I reflected on the purpose and learning opportunities of the event.
The organisation of the morning was outstanding. Every element from volunteer assistance, evacuation procedures, entertainment, medical facilities and choice of not for profits to support had been thought through in detail.
Lesson no 1: My community will go to great lengths to make an event relevant to my age, ensure my safety and at the same time make it fun for me. They will give me an opportunity to help others through my effort.
Children were registered by families and were sponsored by relatives and friends. The proceeds of the morning were donated to a not for profit chosen by families from a small range that the organisers had thoughtfully selected.
Lesson no 2: I can ask my loved ones to support my efforts to help others.
Events were offered in varying lengths and staggered across the morning.
Lesson no 3: I have a chance of completing the event, feeling proud and fulfilling my commitment to my sponsors.
Toilets were brought in, sunscreen and water were on hand and even fruit was freely available.
Lesson no 4: As a child my needs will be looked after.
Children ran, walked, were pushed and were held. Their adults walked dogs, pushed strollers, prams, supported and encouraged their children’s efforts. Bystanders offered words of praise. Certificates available to every participant at the finishing line acknowledged the effort not the winning.
Lesson no 5: I’m a champion for participating and trying hard. Winning is for one; participating is for everybody.
After the events, families shared picnics, listened to music and mingled. Children could involve themselves in activities set up in the ‘Giving Tent’, where families could meet representatives of the not for profits. The ‘Giving Tent’ was set up to foster a spirit of generosity and participation for social good.
Lesson no 6: I can enjoy helping others.
The big lesson I learnt today: It’s not the speed but the journey. There was so much to learn along the way.