Helen Bach: Maybe I can be a good sport

Sports day wasn't so bad after all, says Helen
Sports day wasn't so bad after all, says Helen

Guess what two words I dreaded most during my years at school?

Sports Day.

In fairness, maths test would have come a close second, but even now my heart sinks at the thought of donning PE kit and heading out on to the school playing field.

Imagine my delight then when my daughter’s class – as part of their topic on Ancient Greece – decided their parents should compete in an ‘Olympic Games’.

So, one cloudy Saturday morning we headed to the recreation ground to take part.

My husband and I were entered in various events. Some parents had perhaps wisely recruited other family members to take their places.

This, however, resulted in my middle-aged self competing against sporty 20-year-olds – not exactly a level playing field!

But I held my own, as they say, and achieved a respectable second place in the discus, and third in the javelin (out of five, before you suspect there were only three competing).

All was going well until husband sustained an injury in the 100m sprint. Bravely (or foolishly) I offered to replace him in the 4x100m relay.

What was I thinking? I haven’t run since I used to run for my bus at university 20 years ago.

Sadly, my team was burdened by me running the anchor leg. I was doing OK until one dad – the winner of the 100m – flew past me, leaving me trailing in last place.

But I finished to the cheers of my team, and everyone else present who felt sorry for me, and I had a good laugh about it.

I even won a medal for my second place in the discus. Not only that, I felt a sense of achievement for giving it a go.

Maybe sports say isn’t so bad after all. I’m just glad we don’t usually have a parents’ race – otherwise I might be tempted to replace myself and Mr Bach with more athletic family members!

Read more from Helen here.