Deciphering inter-school sports: a parent’s perspective

district-1House, district, division, regional and state (hope I got the order right!). This week Alex St. Claire gives us all the lowdown on inter-school sports (code for what parents need to know!).

When I was a junior school parent, inter-school sports competitions seemed like a different world with special uniforms, a new language of district and divisional competitions and sports that prompted flashbacks to my own long forgotten primary school days – rounders anyone?!

At Kew Primary School, students compete at team sports through Inter-school Sports in winter sports such as AFL, soccer, and softball and summer sports like cricket, basketball and athletics. A series of training sessions and half-day competitions against local Boroondara schools culminate in an end-of-term gala day where the kids play against all the teams.

Individual sports stars and teams have their chance to shine at district, divisional, regional, state and even national competition level, progressing only when they are the top one or two performers on the day.

Like many parents, my introduction to all this began with House Cross Country (cross country is held in August for grades 3, 4, 5 and 6).

Lots of parent help is needed for these events to run (cheer squad and practical tasks such as time-keeping and supervising on the course). Although it can often involve hanging out it wet, near freezing conditions, the joy of watching your little sports superstar perform their heart out combined with these handy tips will ensure an amazing experience.

district-4Location – The name and address of the place, ideally from the original form. Once, I went to the wrong sports field in Box Hill and wondered why a place with 300 kids could be so quiet!

Entry forms and money – There is sometimes a fee payable on the day and spectator fees can also apply but different events have different costs and payment methods, so always check the permission slip.

Sunglasses and an umbrella – Because it is Melbourne.

A black puffy jacket – Getting out of my car in my new black puffy jacket at the recent house cross country event, I noticed half the mums were also wearing black puffy jackets. Although you can keep warm with other items of clothing, and I’m not sure it needs to be black, I did notice that the cold weather complaints only came from mums not wearing black puffy jackets!

Coffee, water, lunch and snacks – when organising the kids, it’s easy to forget about yourself and, while you might be lucky to find a coffee shop nearby, best to BYO.

And if all else fails, make do with what you’ve got. Last year, at Regional Athletics, the four Kew relay runners were bundled up in old towels from the boot (washed and en-route to the lost dogs home!).

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