Today was another exciting day for the Essex Heights Primary school children. And for me, as I got to experience another sport at school event, which is completely different from the events that we know. It is a fun event, fundraiser and a selection for the school team at the same time. The Essex Heights Fun Run!
Fun Run & Cross Country categories
Since the whole school is involved in the running, the children were divided into four groups:
- Prep & Grade 1: 30-minute lap-a-thon (300 m lap)
- Grade 2&3: 30-minute lap-a-thon (550 m lap)
- Students turning 9 or 10 in 2016: 2 km fixed distance
- Students turning 11 or over in 2016: 3 km fixed distance
There is a large city council oval right next to the school. The youngest group was running on the oval, the second group was running on the outer side and the fixed distance was a 1 km lap -a block around the school and oval- that they had to run two or three times.
Besides being a fun event and getting the children active, every child is asked to find sponsors for their own run. With a set fundraising goal of $ 10.000 this is the biggest fundraiser for the school, since there will not be a school carnival this year.
If every student raises $ 20 the goal will be reached and the children will be rewarded with a fun event that involves the principle and the sport teacher. I will not spoil what will happen yet, but I will make sure that I will get picture proof of it.
In the Netherlands the funds would be raised for charity, but in Australia it is very common that it is kept to improve the school. People in the community here are also more willing to donate. Which makes more sense to me now. If a school is doing well, it attracts more people to the area, which means that the value of the houses will go up.
School cross country team
The 10 fastest boys and the 10 fastest girls on the 2 and 3 km run are automatically selected for the school cross country team. They will be representing Essex Heights Primary School at the District Cross Country on May the 24th.
Sport events are very often used to select students for the school team. If you make it into the school team, then there is a district competition. If you/your team qualify there the next step will then even be a state competition. We have also seen this happened for the athletics in term 3 and the swimming in term 1.
Essex Heights is a school that focuses on the music program, less at sports. Singing is part of the curriculum, children can learn to play different instruments and the showcase is the biggest highlight of the year. But even in a school with less focused on sports, like Essex Heights, Inter School Sport is a regular subject in the week for the grades 5 and 6. It takes up half a day every week, throughout the year.
This is one of the things that were very curious about before we moved to Australia. And it has not disappointed us!