Finally, the long-awaited day had arrived: Sports Day at Fuchuen Elementary School. An annual event held on a Saturday in the fall semester, Sports Day is jam-packed with all sorts of fun outdoor activities: from sprints to relay races, dancing to singing, and tug of war to basketball.
At 8:30AM sharp, the students were all neatly lined up in rows by grade and class (grades K-6, two classes/grade) on the outdoor track. Each class leader, or banzhang (班長), held the school flag, which proudly displays the school name, motto, and logo.
Homeroom teachers assisted with the line formation as students listened to the opening remarks given by the school principal, administrators, deans, and education bureau representatives.
I was happy to see my students sitting in the lines!
The stage was decorated with awards to be distributed later in the afternoon (the red and blue banners lining the table) and signs indicating where 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place awards would be distributed. Multicolored balloons, flowers, Taiwan's flag, a portrait of Sun Yat-Sen, and a cheerful logo adorning the back of the stage (Healthy, Hearty, and Happy) looked out at the audience.
This is the entire student body lined up on the outdoor track -- you can get a sense of how small the school is from this perspective!
To kick off Sports Day, a flag ceremony was held. The student in the middle standing on the podium led the school in singing the school song.
Afterwards, students gathered at the center of the track for singing and dancing performances. I'm not sure how long the students (and teachers) spent rehearsing for the event, but I thought that the choreography and preparation was quite impressive!
The dancing kicked off with 3rd and 1st graders (left and right rows, respectively). Some students wore accessories, such as hula skirts and paper tiaras.
The students' performances were so great! I like how you can see the girl and boy in the second row admiring/following the boy-in-the-first-row's dance moves.
I think they were supposed to jump like rabbits at this part of the song?
Next came the kindergartners (easily identifiable with their red shirts). They stole the show with a song about their hands (hence, the white gloves). As soon as the parents saw the kindergartners assembling in the middle of the track, everyone dashed over in a mad frenzy, cameras and phones at the ready to record the performance. I barely managed to squeeze into the crowd of spectators to capture some photos with my Nikon DSLR.
The girl on the far right looks so happy here! And the girl on the left was such a pro.
I even recorded a video of the kindergartners dancing. You're welcome.
After the dancing performances finished, the 100-metre dash began. Students competed by grade and girls and boys raced together. There were many untied shoes that flew off students' feet as they darted down the track towards the finish line (and the prizes that awaited their arrival)! The commentators had a ball joking about the flying shoes and spirited students.
1st graders competing in a tight race!
The kindergartners running and beaming with smiles towards the finish line.
Their legs may be short, but don't underestimate them!
After the 100-metre dash, students who needed to recharge took a break by the sidelines.
2nd graders munch on snacks and drink water to refuel between events. To my dismay, one of the more popular vendors at Sports Day sold fries to the students and parents, which you can see some students eating here. I found it ironic that the vendors who came to the school grounds mainly sold sugary and fried foods on a day dedicated to exercise and health.
Kindergartners' water bottles were placed in handy trays labeled, "canteens' home" (水壺的家).
Students' chairs were carried outside from the classrooms to provide resting areas under the shade.
2nd graders vie over one girl's cotton candy supply. (Yes, cotton candy was sold to students on Sports Day, of all days.)
I have to admit though, kids are really cute when they're eating cotton candy!
I love this picture because I can't help but imagine the girl's thoughts toward her classmate at this moment: "Alright, save some for the rest of us."
After lunch, 4th graders gathered for the next event: a variation of the potato sack race, minus the potato sack. Paired students linked arms with their backs touching and a volleyball resting between them. Their task? To skip in a straight line towards a chair, circle around the chair, and return without dropping the ball. In total, the distance was about 10 meters.
The ball is on the verge of falling here!
And the winners let their victory be known!
Next came the tug of war competition. Here, the two 4th grade classes compete against one another.
Things escalated pretty quickly.
The third grade classes also competed.
The girl in the middle is Emmy, one of my favorite students!!
Sweet shades, dude.
Parents of kindergartners joined in for a race with cardboard boats, planes, and cars.
You've gotta have a Hello Kitty car!
...and a Pikachu car, of course.
Last, but not least, there was an elaborate race involving hula hoops, a tambourine, and a chair. The race consisted of jumping over 3 hula hoops, circling around a chair, hitting a tambourine three times, and dashing back to tap the next person's shoulder. The team whose members finished the quickest won!
The closing ceremony recognized the top achievers of the day by distributing awards in the form of snacks, medals, and certificates. Everything was wrapped up by around 3:00PM. After every Sports Day, the following Monday is a holiday for the teachers and students (yay!). So instead of going to work, I spent the day editing photos and writing this blog post. :)