Sports Day cringe stories

Sports Day line-up
It’s supposed to be one of the highlights of the school calendar, but in reality sports day is ripe with opportunities for humiliation. From finishing line tantrums to trackside arguments, six mums share their shame with TheSchoolRun.

Hot under the collar

‘I’m a firm believer that sports day should be just for fun, rather than ultra-competitive. So when, on sports day, another mum started complaining that the races weren’t competitive enough and that children should get used to losing, I had to disagree. The “discussion” was becoming somewhat heated when I suddenly realised that the headteacher had his hands up – the school signal for everybody to be quiet – and everyone was staring at us. I’ll keep my mouth shut in future!’
Julia, mum to Emily, nine, Bethany, eight, Grace, five and Joshua, three

Sore loser

‘After winning all three of his previous races, I was expecting Harry to take in it good grace when he came third in the sack race, but no: he flung himself to the ground and burst into hysterical tears. It took his teacher the rest of the morning to calm him down. All the other mums seemed to think it was rather sweet, but I was beetroot-faced at my bad loser’s tantrum.’
Esther, mum to Alfie, eight, and Harry, six

Boob job

‘Last sports day, I was sitting at the front with my baby. He needed a feed, so I hitched up my top and latched him on discreetly. But when the next race started, and everyone leapt to their feet and started cheering, it was all too distracting for the baby. He instantly pulled away from my breast to see what was going on, leaving me flashing my boob at all the teachers, including the headmaster.’
Debbie, mum to Sophie, seven, and Charlie, 18 months 

Pick of the day

‘My little darling sat and picked his nose throughout his entire two-hour sports day. He even managed to pick it whilst competing in the novelty race, and still came in second.’
Charlotte, mum to Oliver, five

The blind leading the blind

‘This year, the children took part in a “blind race”, where one child had to wear blacked-out goggles and another guided them around a course using only spoken commands. I don’t think anyone anticipated how frustrated the guiding children would become. My daughter was overheard asking her partner, in a very patronising tone, whether she even knew her left from her right, while another ended up shouting, “Are you deaf, dumb and stupid, as well as blind?” Fortunately we were all giggling too much to be too embarrassed by our children’s behaviour.’
Jacqui, mum to Molly, 10

Crash, bang, wallop

‘Last year, the fathers’ race got rather too competitive. My husband was involved in a multi-dad pile-up that ended with one man being taken to hospital with a broken collar bone! We still don’t know who landed the fatal blow…’
Georgina, mum to Christopher, seven, and Emily, three

Indecent exposure

‘At his first sports day, my son got a bit bored with the wait between races, and decided to occupy himself in the way that little boys love best – by having a good old rummage. To add to my shame, he wasn’t content with just having his hands down his shorts, but actually sat there with his bits poking out over his waistband, completely oblivious to me frantically gesticulating at him to put them away.’
Lucy, mum to Tom, five, and Katie, four months