Ethan’s First Sports Day

Last Thursday was Ethan’s sports day at nursery, his very first sports day. It was a day I was looking forward too, and Darren was even able to book the day off to watch this milestone.

The children were split into teams of six all named after different countries, a world cup theme. Ethan was on the Mexico team.

They had to take part in five races, a running race, a sack race, hurdles, a tyre race and a football race.
All the parents were seated and waiting before they brought out the children. There were a large number of parents and I never thought how overwhelming this could be for our little guy. He walked out hand and hand with his key worker and as soon as he was seated you could see him trying to find us in the crowd. As soon as he spotted us he wanted to run over to us. It took everything the key worker had to keep him by her side. 
The Running Race – Ethan run this race holding his key workers hand. He was very excited and kept looking at us, flapping the whole time he ran. 
The Sack Race – I thought there was no way Ethan could take part in this but his key worker held the sack for him as Ethan jumped his way to the finish line. Flapping his hands the whole time. 
Hurdles – Again with his key workers support, Ethan took part in this race, stepping over the first hurdle and then jumping with both feet over the next. 
The Tyre Race – This was a little more complicated, the children had to roll a tyre to the finish line. Ethan tried to pick his up, then the key worker tried to get him to roll it. Ethan decided the best option was just to run, and that’s what he did, all the way to the finish line. 
The Football Race – For this race two cones were placed in the lane, the first one had a small football positioned on it. The children had to pick this up and carry it to, and place it on the next cone. From this cone the children had to kick the ball into the goal. Ethan carried his ball all the way down his lane, past the second cone and threw the ball into the net. 
We clapped and cheered for every race, so happy that our little guy was taking part, even if it was in his own way. There were no awards for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place, every child got a sticker for taking part which I thought was great. 
Watching sports day did make us realise we are happy we got the school placement we wanted for Ethan. You do always question if you are doing the right thing, but watching the competitive parents pushing their children to win the race, we imagined how future sports days would be for us in a mainstream setting. How Ethan would start to stand out from his peers at school, and we want him to feel comfortable and not different.  
It was a very weird feeling watching and listening to the competitive parents, they wanted 1st place for their child, we were just happy that our little boy was running in the right direction. It really brings home that we walk a different path, a path filled with Small Steps Amazing Achievements
I think Ethan did really enjoy his sports day but he did experience sensory overload. He fell asleep as soon as we were in the car headed home, but it took us hours to get him to sleep that night. Something we must remember for next year. 

4 thoughts on “Ethan’s First Sports Day”

  1. Awww. Well done Ethan. And I completely understand what you mean. We had Sissyboo’s second sports day last week and while I was watching her and listening to all the competitive parents I realised how awful such a day would be for Boo. x

  2. bless him – sounds like a lovely sports day. This year with the boys both back in school we noticed that both schools did a non-competitive section of sports day too which was really nice and ideal for both D and J who can be stressed out if they have to go in a race. Sadly my memories of J’s first sports day aren’t great. As well as his (then undiagnosed) ASD and SPD, he had hearing problems which the school were clueless about and so when the race started he just stood there as he hadn’t heard them say go. It was heartbreaking for us to watch that. So glad to hear it was a positive experience for Ethan and you. x

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