Cracker Olympics capers
‘‘They made movie trailers of each sport so everyone would know how to play, and held practices.’’ Teacher, Raewyn Morris
An Olympic Games without New Zealand would be unthinkable. But it happened. New Zealand was deliberately excluded from the Ashhurst School Olympic Games day last week.
Twenty other ‘countries’ took part in the extended learning session and sports day, but teacher Raewyn Morris said there was method in the exclusion ‘madness’.
New Zealand was purposefully left out because most pupils probably wanted to be in the Kiwi team.
It would also be unfair when other teams had to compete against any of the girls and boys who had been selected to wear the silver fern.
Instead, New Zealand were declared official hosts, leaving the other countries to battle it out for the medals.
The 20 teams in national costumes and facepaint, waving handmade flags and mascots, and wearing individual flag tags, assembled at 9am for a half-hour long opening ceremony before taking part in 10 sporting fixtures around the school grounds.
Every aspect of the games was overseen by the school’s year 7 and 8 pupils, and that included selecting the types of sporting events, with teachers acting only in supervisory roles.
‘‘They made movie trailers of each sport so everyone would know how to play, and held practices,’’ Morris said.
Along with usual Olympics events such as soccer and hockey, handball, team relays and athletics, there were alternate games such as dodgeball and ultimate frisbee, tug-a-war, nukem ball - a modified version of volleyball so even new entrants could play - and capture the flag.
Senior pupils contributed as refs, timekeepers, scorekeepers, designers, marketing and media.
Media rep Gabbie Drury, 13, said her job was to ask people how the games were going, and who they thought was going to win.
‘‘Poland, China and USA are the one’s to beat,’’ Gabbie said after the first three rounds had been completed - though India was making an unexpectedly strong showing.
Countries won 3 points for a win, 2 for a draw and 1 for a loss.
School prefects Bethany Mitchell and Thomas Fowell, both 13, ran the opening ceremony and were tasked with selecting participants for sportsmanship awards, as well as handing out bonus ‘‘greenies’’ - notes that can be redeemed for special activity rewards at the end of term - to others doing well.
The gold, silver and bronze medals were made out of rounds sliced from a pruned tree branch, and decorated with a ribbon and the specially designed school Olympics logo.
For the record, Poland topped the medal count with India second, but school participation was the winner all the way.
Kobi Moore, 8, gives it his all as he competes in a tug of war for team Australia during the Ashhurst School Olympic Games last week.