The summer term is winding to an end, and with four young children I have a series of sports days to go to. They’re not generally big days in the Black household – we don’t take them too seriously and we never win anything. It’s all good fun though, and sometimes exciting.
At our local nursery school (up to age 7) the highlight is the marathon – once round the field for year 2, the oldest class in the school. Sebastien Coe’s children went to the school, and the first year I went along his little daughter Alice was allowed to run in the marathon even though she was only in year 1. They set off, and a small group of boys forged quickly clear, leaving the others in the main pack – at around the half way point Alice came out of the pack and started to cut the boys down one by one. There was a moment when it looked as if she might win, but the leader was too strong and it wasn’t to be. It was great entertainment on a small scale.
My children generally make up the numbers. The girls both ran creditably but always down the field. Eddie didn’t seem to get the concept of racing and was a comedy show last time – as the other boys raced to the line he cruised in behind with a strange exaggerated running action staring at the crowd with an ear to ear grin. He was more like a synchronised swimmer than anything else – it makes me laugh just thinking about it.
Ollie, my youngest, made his sports day debut today at the age of 3 – from a very early age I’ve suspected he might be sporty. As a baby he’d stick his chin and strain to pull himself up or move around – he’s incredibly cheerful and energetic, but has a fierce temper on occasion. He’s fearless – recently he leapt off a table about four feet onto my shoulders while I was looking the other way. He’s the youngest in his year group and is dwarfed by most of his friends, but he showed them the way to go today – three races, three wins.
This was great news – as a supportive dad I feel I have something to look forward to on the sports pitch now. It’s a strange mindset, not at all dissimilar to breeding horses.
With three races in the bag already today it seems rude to ask for more, but I have a runner with a decent chance – Peintre D’Argent goes at Hamilton in the 4:15. I think she got there too soon last time – she would also have benefited from the run. She should go well today.