Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Sports Day

Our neighbourhood Sports Day was held on Sunday. Last year the weather was bad and it was held in the primary school gym, but this time it was warm and sunny and everyone gathered at the local playing field (or 'area of sand and gravel' to give it a more accurate name).

As always with these neighbourhood events, the whole day was more about turning up and showing your face than anything else, and the races were as light-hearted as ever. The local area covered by this Sports Day is divided up into 6 smaller areas, and each one competed against the others (we are in area 1). There were tents around the edge of the playing field, 2 for each group, where you could sit and watch the events out of the sun.

H took part in a relay race where each person had to run and then perform some amusing feat. Here he is, rushing to beat the others in downing a bottle of lemonade...

K took part in 'Snacks please!' again this year, this time able to complete the arduous task of walking from A to B and receiving a box of biscuits All By Himself. We were amused to see that he got exactly the same biscuits as last year! Can you spot him in this picture?

Later there was the Centipede Race...

... and then it was my turn. This relay race involved dribbling a rugby ball down the line, round a chair and back to the next person. Look at me go!

After all that hard work, it was time for a free lunch. Each area group provided food for its members. We had boxed lunches ordered from a nearby store, but 2 of the other groups did barbecues, and one even had a candy-floss making machine!

H's parents live in the same area as us, so we were all able to have a little picnic together:

The afternoon events kicked off with a dance! 'Dancers' walked slowly round in a big circle, doing the appropriate arm movements as they went. Variations on this type of traditional dance are found across Japan and can often be seen at festivals, especially in the summer. K loves to move to music and is quite good at copying actions, so we joined in. Most of the other people didn't really know the moves either and were just copying the person in front of them, so that the dance became more and more out of time as you got further away from the people leading it! K seemed to enjoy it, but didn't quite get the idea of staying in line...

This next picture was intended to show H taking part in the Throwing Little Beanbags Into A Basket On A Stick event, but it also demonstrates my main activity of the day, Chasing After Escaping Toddlers...

Everyone who took part got a small participation prize for each event, regardless of who won. I was rather embarrassed that K and I were both given something for joining in the dance! In the end we came home with 2 boxes of biscuits for little children, some custard-filled buns, a ball of string, 3 bars of soap, some clothes pegs and a bottle of bath cleaner. Is it strange that this all seems perfectly normal to me now?

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