Monday, April 7, 2014

St Pat's athletics carnvial

Last Thursday, Sarra's school held their athletics carnvial. It was just the middle school made up of grade 7 and 8s but it was still about 450 kids.

It is certainly nothing like our little primary school one.

I got there just in time to see Sarra race in her 100m.

They have the electronic gates to run through which works out who came what. Something we could have done with on the finish line at the Northern Midlands, earlier in the week. ;)

She ran a good race coming 4th.

There are four houses at St Pat's. Nagle (green) which we are in, McKillop (blue), Rice (red) and Tennison (yellow). There are then 8 sub-houses. Sarra is in Nagle Rochester and the other sub-house in Nagle is Nagle Young. But on carnival days they just have the four houses against each other.

Flynn has decided that Sarra's friend "Tayya" is his best friend.

Each of the houses really get into it and support their athletes and you can go all out and wear whatever you want in your team colours.

Lots of kids wear tutus, capes and big hats in their team colours. They paint their faces and spray their hair too. Flynn loved it because people go round with big buckets of lollies, to hand out to their team mates.

The tug of war pulled lots of competitors and people cheering them on. Sarra wasn't going to go in it at first but then couldn't help having a go.

Nagle grade 8s ended up being champions of the tug-of-war so that was pretty cool.

It was great to come and support Sarra and see what athletics carnivals are all about in high school. There weren't many other parents there so its not like at primary school where you see parents running around everywhere trying to get cute little photos but it was still fun all the same and its always good to go sometimes and get a feel of what life is like each day as your child runs the gauntlet, that is high school.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Swimming lessons

The kids have had great fun doing their swimming lessons so far this year. A friend of mine told me about hiring the Deloraine PS pool for private swims. I don't know why we hadn't thought of it before! During second and third term, every second Sat for one hour we are going to let the kids loose in the pool to keep up the skills they learn in lessons and really just have a bit of fun. The Deloraine PS pool is indoor and really warm. its where we hold our school swim carnivals.

Jonty spends alot of his time with his head under the water so I'm not sure how much he listens but he absolutely loves it. The only time he was reluctant to go in the water was when they had a lesson wearing life jackets. He absolutely refused to go because we weren't "on a boat". I knew once he was in he would be okay so I made him put the jacket on and plonked him in the water while he kicked and screamed. After about 1 minute, he started to relax and enjoy himself and then was smiling and laughing. What was really funny was that every now and again he would remember that he was not supposed to like it and would put a scowl on his face but then he couldn't help having fun again and the scowl would slip away and then he would be cross with himself for letting his guard down. He is such a crack up, really reluctant to try new things but once he gets over that initial unfamiliarity with the situation, there is no stopping him.

Oliver is really building on learning how to swim. He didn't do any lessons in Prep or grade 1 so last year he really concentrated on getting his basic skills up. This year he has really worked on his freestyle breathing and stroke technique for backstroke and freestyle. I have loved watching him come so far last year and this year.

Hallie is a good strong swimmer and so this year has been working on getting her techniques just right. She has spent alot of time on butterfly and dives and getting the legs right in breast stroke. She also did some treading water while wearing clothes  for some survival skills training.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Northern Midlands Carnival and a bit of squash!

 Yesterday Oliver and Hallie went to the Northern Midlands running carnival as part of a team sent from our school. How you perform in your local school carnival, decides on whether you get to go to Northern Midlands. Northern Midlands is made up of Campbell Town, Cressy, Flinders Island, Perth, Evandale, Hagley, Westbury, Meander, Bracknell, Our Lady of Mercy, Deloraine, Longford and Mole Creek primary schools. They both did well at the WPS carnival earlier this month and Oliver was particularly excited to go as it was his first year as it is only grades 3 to 6 and he is now in grade 3.

The Northern Midlands Association had asked our principal if we could send someone as an official to help out so he asked me and I got to be at the finish line for the whole day and get some great photo shots in between. 

I was a bit worried how Flynn was going to go and had visions of him running onto the track but he was really really good and sat and played with his cars, ate his lunch and watched all the races for the whole 4 hours we were there.

Oliver was up first in the 800m. This was his only race and he was a bit nervous but did a really good job and came in sixth place, and never stopped the whole way.

While Oliver was running his race, Hallie was over doing vortex but because I was giving out 4th place in the 800m, I couldn't really run over for a pic, so just snapped one from the finish line. She came 4th in this event. Hallie also qualified to do the 400m and long jump but she had to opt out of two events as she was doing too many. :)

Hallie's next event was also the 800m and she also came 6th in this race.

Hallie's next race was the 100m. She came 3rd in her heat and then moved onto the finals.

For us officials on the finish line, the 100m all of a sudden made it just that bit harder. We were quite relaxed until this race event started because in the longer races the kids were more spaced out in crossing the finish line, but then all of a sudden 9 kids were running as fast as they could toward you and it was so close as they crossed the line and so quick. 

Cindy one of the other Westbury officials tried to take a photo of them crossing the line but they were too quick.

I still had the 4th place card at that point and had to crouch down on the finish line and in a quick moment count 1-2-3-4 and zero in on my 4th placing and not take my eye off them to give them their placing.

This is Clancey, one of Oliver's best friend's in his 100m event.

When it came time for the finals of the 100m, the coordinator told us that the first 4 go to the State carnival and then 5 and 6 go as reserves. I didn't know this and I said to the coordinator that Hallie came 4th last year but she didn't go on to State. The coordinator was not sure what happened because she said she would have remembered Hallie's name. I have it recorded in her 2013 book of achievement at home, that she came 1st in her heat and 4th in the final so I think there was some mix up as I don't think her name was ever passed onto our school as they have no record of it either. I just assumed that only the first 3 went on and it was not until yesterday being an official that I found out that the first 6 from the final go on. I was a bit cross at first but then decided that as long as Hallie enjoys running then that's the main thing and anyway there was nothing I could do about it now.

Also everyone there are volunteers and spend alot of their own time making this event happen each year. The coordinator had been there since 7.30am getting things ready and its a big task to undertake each year so I didn't want to grumble and be ungrateful for the experiences the kids get coming here. And sometimes I can be a little fixated on fairness and justice which is why I did a Law degree at university but when things are out of your control - just let it go crazy Mumma!! :)

The relay was really fun. Relays don't go onto the State carnival so it was really just a bit of fun for them all. I loved that Meander didn't have enough for a team so my Oli and another WPS boy were asked to join them. It was so funny as all of a sudden I was cheering for Meander instead.

This is Sophie in our grade 3 girls relay team, bringing it home.

Flynn loved helping out with the batons for the relay, until he realised he couldn't bring one home.

Hallie's relay team came 3rd. She was runner 1.

It was actually a really good day and Flynn and I had heaps of fun helping out as officials. There was a lovely feeling amongst everyone and even though it was still a competition there was great sportsmanship and especially amongst us officials coming from different schools, we cheered on everyone and congratulated each other when their school would win. There was one boy from Cressy and he was A.mazing!! I can't remember his name but I'm sure in the future he will be someone to watch on a national level as he gets older.

When we got home, we went straight down to the sports centre because it was parent day at Active After School Sport. This term Hallie is doing squash and I got to have a hit with some of the other parents and then a hit against Hallie. I don't know where she got her energy from after today, but she just kept on going.

These two were cute having a hit together in the corridor.

This is Flynn throwing up his arm saying, "I'm a winner".

Jonty sticking his tongue out with the concentration.

It was a long tiring day for the kiddos but they had heaps of fun. Yesterday was my 6th Northern Midlands and it never gets old for me. I love seeing the kids out there enjoying the experience, and not just my own kids, but all the kids from around the district.