Tag: sports

Little T’s First Ever Cross-Country Run

“Go for it” one parent said to his eight-year-old little girl – a lovely, shy, blonde girl who is a year older and at least a head taller than T.

“You can do this!”  another one prompted her daughter.

As for us?  All we said to T was “Enjoy the run and it doesn’t matter how long you finish, as long as you finish it”.  We also told her to stick with her best friend F who was nervous about it.  To be fair, T was also a bit scared but she’s known to be one of the fastest in her class.  In fact, she surprised everyone by coming in first in last year’s sports day.  We thought if they stuck together they can prod one another if the other falls behind.

A day before the visit of the mini-beast from the East, little T and her friends from school participated in a cross country run.  This happens yearly when Year 3 students and above are invited to do the run.

It wasn’t just the kids who were nervous.  We, the parents were also the same especially since the kids who joined from T’s class was their first time in joining too.  No one (apart from the older kids who’ve joined last year) were familiar with the track and what to expect.

And then they were gone… all 800 kids from all over Cornwall participated, some had their parents run with them as well.  My husband and I joined the other parents from T’s school.  We chatted as we waited and then after a while, some kids were already coming in.  We were impressed with their speed.  Then kids from T’s school started running past, we all cheered for them of course, even the ones who were from other schools.

Small kids, older kids started running past, even a man in a dinosaur costume sped by.  Still there was no sign of T and her best-friend F.  I was starting to worry and then I spotted her from afar.

My camera didn’t focus.  She’s the girl in blue behind the blonde little girl.  I called out to her, she saw me and didn’t even blink and sprinted past us, who were cheering loudly.

All the of the kids were covered in mud.  Now I understand why they had to tape their shoes on, some kids ran holding their shoes, they must have gotten stuck in the mud.

We were so proud of our little girl as she came in at 545.  Her other friends came in way before her, but it didn’t matter.  She said she stuck with her friend F, but got separated from him by the river.  When she couldn’t see him, she decided to ran as fast as she could.  That’s her waiting to see if F came in.  He wasn’t that far off from her.

All of them did really well actually, although later on, I did wonder whether we are teaching our daughter to be mediocre?  Is it bad that we don’t push her?  We never say “Go for it!”.  We never push her to win.  We always say – have fun, enjoy it.  As parents, we don’t like putting pressure in anything that little T does, especially since we know some parents in her school do that to their kids.  We may not push her to win, but we do encourage her to always do the best that she can.  Isn’t that enough?

What about you?

Do you tell your child to go for it, or to have fun and enjoy the experience?


Football and T

The first football match little T watched in a stadium was in the Olympics in Old Trafford, Manchester.  She was barely two.  I think she enjoyed it.  She loved the big crowds and the contagious excitement in the crowd.  She especially liked it when a giant inflatable football was passed around in the crowd.

She didn’t cry or whinge.  But patiently sat on her dad’s lap all through out the game, just watching.  Little did I know that in the years to come, she’d choose football over gymnastics.  Yes, she did quit her gymnastics and chose to play football instead.

Fast forward to November 2017 – her second game wasn’t as exciting and no way anywhere as big as watching an Olympic match in the Old Trafford.  It was a small stadium in Exeter where Exeter City F.C. played against Grimsby.  As you can see from below, a very drizzly and cold November day.

Yes, I know.  The contrast is glaring.

The husband has been wanting T to watch Exeter play.  Why Exeter?  The shocking truth is, T is actually a Devonian Pixie, not a Cornish Pixie.  Gasp, I know.  She was born in Exeter hospital just like a number of her friends in T’s school, so it seems apt that she support the team of the city she was born in.

The husband even bought her a scarf to mark the occasion.  She loves it because she said it looks like a Harry Potter one.  Did she enjoy the game?  Yes.  Would she want to watch another game?  Yes, she said and she’s hoping to bring her best-friend F in the next game since they both play football in their school.  Looks like Exeter city F.C. has a new little fan!  Who knows, F might also want to support them?

What about you?

Do you support any football club?

Choices: A Little Girl’s Dilemma

For those who have been following our little blog for some time now will know that little T has been doing gymnastics since she was about four.  She only stopped for a few months when her gym club closed and moved away.  After going for about two years, we thought that her time with gymnastics has come to an end.  In fact, she even announced her “retirement” from the sport.

That was when we decided that it was perhaps time to try something else.  We found her a ballet class run by a lovely teacher.  T tried it and loved it.  Apparently, according to T’s teacher, she has a natural ability.  Of course, we were pleased.

And then lo and behold, a satellite gymnastics class opened in a nearby town near us.  We took T along and that’s when she changed her mind and announced she was out of retirement.

It’s been about a year now of doing both gymnastics and ballet and I’m proud to say she’s doing well in both.  Her gym club has even invited her to join in the development squad group, which means two hours of gymnastics.  She’s still doing her ballet and is about to do her first ballet “exam” next month.

This term, she has also joined girls-football club and sports club every Thursday after school.  Not to mention she also does cello and swimming on Wednesdays.  Yes, my seven-year-old is doing way too much.

And recently, her gymnastics coach has invited little T to join an additional gymnastics class, this time focusing on rhythmic gymnastics on a Thursday.  But this means driving to the main gym club which is about a 45-minute drive from where we live.  This will also mean, she’ll have to give up sports-club which she loves, because she does it with her friends.  And it will be another late night. At the moment, Monday’s are her busiest since she does gymnastics from 5-7.  Did I mention that my seven-year-old is doing way too much?

And here lies the dilemma, something has got to give.  The problem is, she loves both her gymnastics and ballet.  She also loves playing football with her friends at school.  While she does the girl’s football with her friends on Wednesdays during school hours, she also wants to join the football club which happens on Monday afternoons after school.  Her teacher plans to form a football team and she wants to be included in that team.  Her teacher used to be an ex-professional football player.  When he retired he went into teaching and he said to my husband “Your daughter is naturally sporty.  She has good strength and a natural balance” which of course pleased my husband no end.

But she can’t.  Not if she continues to do 2 hours-of gymnastics, plus the additional 1 hour on Thursday (if she decides to do this).  It’s just way too much.

My poor seven-year-old doesn’t know what to do.  What to give up.  She asks us for advice but we remind her that at the end of the day, it is her choice.  She has to follow her heart and decide on what she wants to do.

At the moment, she’s thinking of giving up gymnastics.  I’m a bit saddened by this.  She’s worked so hard for her badges and clearly, her coaches does see potential in her.  They say that she has the perfect built and stamina to be a really good gymnast.  Some kids in her development class do gymnastics three times a week, some even more.

My husband and I are thinking, do we want this for our child?  While it’s good that she’s really into sports, we also want her to have a life.  We want her to have fun with her friends. As parents, isn’t that what we all want?  At the same, I think we also have to remind ourselves that our kids, are just kids.  Let them be kids.

As mentioned, at the moment, she’s thinking of giving up gymnastics.  We told her to think about it over half-term break before deciding on anything.  She wants to keep doing ballet, she says.  I’m thinking maybe she could keep doing the two-hour gym session on a Monday?  But my husband reminded me that she’s in the development squad for a reason.  She can’t stay there forever.  Besides, this little girl wants to join the football club.  Such a dilemma, for one so young!  At her age, I think the only dilemma I had was which stationary could I afford with my pocket-money, nothing major at all.

What would you advice?

A Country Kid’s Post: Rugby Fun

I’m not a sporty person.  I can swim but I’m not a strong swimmer.  I can ride a bike, but won’t win any race.  I know some of you may think, it’s not too late to try.  But if I’m honest, I might just give this one a miss.  I’d rather cheer the others from the sideline, or maybe wait from the comforts of a lovely nice pub.

My husband on the other hand, while he claims not to be good in sports, does gig-rowing (although admittedly doesn’t have time to do it anymore), is a good swimmer, used to fence at Uni, played football and cricket when he was younger, so I guess it’s safe to say T got her interests in sports from him.

At the moment, she goes to gymnastics and swimming class.  We were pleased though when she signed up for a rugby game in another school.  They are actually lucky to have a teacher who happened to be an ex football player, so it’s not surprising that he pushes his students to do well in sports (among other things of course).

Mr. R was very pleased with his kids, especially when a local rugby coach announced that they were the best team there.

Apparently, little T was really fast, but refused to tackle.  I laughed when this was reported back to me.  But Mr. R plans to start a football team and include the year 2s.  I don’t know what it’s like in other schools, but while the boys can join the football team young, the girls on the other hand have to be older than T.  I know, it’s so unfair isn’t it?  As parents of a younger girl, we were really happy when he said that he will start them this year.  He wants T in his team 🙂

What about you?

Are you into sports?

Out of Retirement: A Little Gymnast Inspired by the 2016 Rio Olympics

If you’ve been following my blog, you might have read in past posts about Little T’s retirement from gymnastics after her old club decided to close and move further away from where we live.  I’m glad we didn’t listen to her and in spite that announcement (just in case she changes her mind), my husband still went on and searched for a club that’s nearer to us, luckily we’ve found one.

So why the sudden change of heart?  It’s the 2016 Rio Olympics of course!  I’m sure little T isn’t the only one who is being inspired by the courageous and admirable athletes in the probably (correct me if I’m wrong) most prestigious sporting event every four years.  While we haven’t been glued to the TV like some and have only seen a few games, like you guess it – gymnastics, it was enough to inspire the once retired little gymnast.

She’s also ticked pink that the American gymnast Simone Biles is little like her (standing at 4’8) and yet has won four gold medals and one bronze.  She loves that 16-year-old British gymnast Amy Tinkler won the bronze and has become the youngest Olympic medallist in 32 years.

Little T was also inspired by British trampolinist Bryony Page who won silver and is the first ever British trampolinist to win an Olympic medal and there’s also Matt Whitlock who won two golds in the current Olympics.

And because of all these fabulous gymnasts, little T has now come out of retirement and is looking forward to her new club come September and who knows, she might just win in the Olympics too 😉

Has your little one been inspired by the Olympics too?  Or perhaps you have?

Do share.

What Gymnastics has taught my daughter

Little T started gymnastics last year when she was four.  She didn’t cry the first time she went, but her sleeve was so wet, you see, she likes to chew on her sleeve when she’s nervous.

It’s been over a year now since she started.  Some of her friends from her school joined her last year, but even though they seemed to enjoy it, they found it a little bit too much for them.  Which I found a bit baffling.  I don’t want to sound as if I’m undermining my child, but I know my own daughter.  She is a lot like me – shy and not very forwarding.  At first glance, you’d think she doesn’t have much confidence, unlike her friends.  But it turned out her friends who seemingly are more confident than T, didn’t last at her gymnastics class.  They just couldn’t handle it.  When they quit, I was worried that T would too.  But she persevered.

Before we went on our summer holiday last year, one of the senior coaches approached us and she said that they wanted to start training T for competitions when she turns six, but she’d have to do two hours of training.  We said we’d ask T and see what she thought of it.  To our surprise, T seemed keen to start training.  But we decided that she’d start the two hours after the summer break.

I’ll be honest, six months on after starting with two hours of gymnastics every Friday, I don’t see much change in T.  She still doesn’t have the strength in her legs and arms unlike the other girls who can do multiple, cartwheels, backflips and somersaults.  T still looks a bit clumsy and frail compared to them.  To be fair though, she is the youngest in her group.

I spoke to her coach about this last week and I told her that I think the group is much too advanced for her age and capabilities as a beginner.  Her coach agreed with me, but she said the thing with T is that she is hanging on, doing what she’s told, as much as she can.  I asked her if it would be better for T to go back to just doing one hour.  She said it was up to us.

Again, we talked to T about it and to my surprise she was adamant that she wanted to stay in her group.  I was immensely proud of my little girl but at the same time I wanted to cuddle and protect her and try to convince her to just do the one hour.  But we never go against what our little girl wants, especially when it comes to her own choices of activities to do.

At this point though, I don’t really care if she’s going to be a top gymnast and win medals and do cross-country competitions.  At the moment, what’s important to me is that she’s having fun and most especially she’s learning major life skills at such an early age – discipline and sticking to something in spite whatever fears she has in her little heart.  You don’t just quit and give up because you’re afraid of something, you persevere.  And that to me is more important than winning competitions or doing multiple cartwheels.

What about you?

Did you ever excel at any sport?

I was never good at any sport.  My husband though played football, cricket and fencing at university.


Little T's first Gymnastics Badges

As some of you may know, little T started gymnastics class last year and I’m proud to say that she’s still loving it and has actually earned her first two badges.

For awhile my husband and I were worried that she’d lose interest, especially since it is a bit of a drive form where we live.  But so far, she is still looking forward to Fridays when she gets to don her lovely sparkly gym leotards and now club hoodie.  I’ve just recently sewn her badges on, ready for her to wear tomorrow.

After sewing the second one, my fingers were really hurting!

It’s so interesting and lovely to see how confident she is now after starting school this year, joining her gym class and also star-makers another after school activity.  She’s no longer the scared, shy little girl who used to burst into tears just as the school bell would ring.  Interestingly, some kids who were so confident at the start of the year are now the ones who have been tearful in the mornings, while T after a goodbye wave, would happily cue along with her other friends.

And it was actually also her idea to join star-makers (a drama, singing and dancing class), which one of the mum’s of her friends facilitate after school.  All her friends went at the beginning, and she held back.  We didn’t push her, for us it was enough that she had her gymnastics class and didn’t want (still don’t) to pile too much activities after school.  Most days she’s too tired and grumpy to do anything anyway.

But one day, she surprised us all, by announcing that she wanted to go to star-makers too, which was fine, especially since it’s being held at our village hall, not far from her school.

Little T has definitely gone more than a mile from the kind of little girl she was before she started school.  To think that at the beginning, I was so worried that we had made the wrong decision of starting her too early.  After all, she had just turned four, in less than a couple of weeks before starting school.

What about you?

How are your little ones doing?

British Sports

I’m not a big fan of football.  Wait, let me edit that, I’m not actually a fan of any sport at all.  I only like watching sports when it’s a big event like the Olympics, other than that, I’d really rather read or even stare at a ceiling, though sometimes I do give in when the husband asks me to watch a game with him.

The thing about being married or dating an English man is that most likely they are into sports either, football, rugby or cricket.  If you’re unlucky like me, they’ll be into all the three games mentioned.  So when it’s the FA Cup/Word Cup, Six Nations, or the Ashes, you’ll find us having lots of TV dinners, and junk food becomes the main course in our house.  Oh and must not forget the beer!

The first football match I’ve ever seen was the finals of the African Cup of Nations in Ghana 2007.  I probably wrote about that in the past already, if not here, in my old blog.

It was everything a football game should be like, especially when you’re not exactly a fan – huge venue, enormous crowd, exciting, drama (when a police man fired a taser gun at a troublemaker) and at the end of the game, a fantastic display of fireworks!  Oh and not to forget the appearance of very important people like the president and other celebrities who most likely, won’t even be familiar to you.  Aren’t all football games like that?

Yes, I know, they’re not.  They should be!

The next football game I watched was in a small(ish) stadium in the freezing cold in Luton, England.  Yes, sadly my husband supports the lowest of the low (just kidding, maybe not the lowest, but somewhere there, you get the picture).  So nope, there was no enormous crowd, although to be fair the stadium was more than half-full.  There was no drama either, though perhaps, a poet might have found the the dark-gloomy clouds hovering above the stadium dramatic.  Yes, I know I’m pushing it.  And at the end of the game, there was no ostentatious display of fireworks at all.  I don’t even remember if Luton won that game (most probably not – hahaha).  In fact, if I remember it right, the mood after the game was a bit sombre as every one filed out of the stadium.  I could be wrong of course.  And lastly, no VIP or celebrity sighting at all.

What about you?  Are you a fan of any sport?

Does your husband/wife/partner support a team?

If you answer no, lucky you!

This post is linked-up with PODcast’s #WhatsTheStory

T and the Rugby Nippers

As parents of  toddlers we are always on the look out for activities that would burn off all that energy only a young child would have, although at three, T and her best-friend F are not considered toddlers anymore.

At the moment, T goes to play school three times a week and only stays till after lunch-time.  We are taking little steps here, we let her make the decision.  Last week, it was her idea to stay till after-lunch and so she did.  The decision to stay till three, will also come from her.  On Thursdays though T and her best-friend F “plays” rugby with other kids with the help of coach Dave of the Nippers Rugby.

Do you notice anything different in this photo?  T is the only little girl!

Dave is very good with what he does and the kids really enjoy the rugby sessions with him.  They are taught basic sports skills, simple rugby exercises and social etiquette.

And they also learn the meaning of “team work”.

Future female rugby player?

The session runs about 45 minutes.  There is a break-time enough for the kids to have a drink and a little rest.  A niece of mine asked me, why rugby?  It actually doesn’t really matter what kind of sport, we just wanted an activity that would allow our daughter to run around like a loony and burn all that excess energy.  It’s great though of course that she’s learning a sport and experiencing what it is like to be in a “team” no matter how small the group is.  This works perfectly well and as I’ve mentioned Dave is great with the kids.  And also where we live, it’s a bit difficult to find activities that are age-appropriate for them, other than the usual sit-around-sing-dance-storytime kind of thing, which she does at play school anyway.  She has mentioned that she wants to dance ballet, I’ve yet to find somewhere close to us.  For the meantime, she’s enjoying her rugby sessions so much with coach Dave.

So if you have a little one of your own and live somewhere in North Cornwall or even Devon, do check if Dave is doing any Nippers Rugby session in your area, you won’t regret it!  For more info, please click here.

Quote of the Day: The English Holy Trinity according to my husband

Yesterday, my husband tried to convince me to have breakfast out in the pub with him and my daughter.  Of course, as soon as he mentioned the word “pub” T got all excited already.  You see my daughter loves going to the pub as explained on this post.  I declined, only because I knew the reason why he wanted to go – cricket.  I have nothing against cricket, but I’m just not into sports.  I only watch sports when it is a big event like the Olympics or the World Cup.

Before leaving he said to me:

You see, the English also have their Holy Trinity, the pub, cricket and the Full English  Breakfast – The Historian

In my old blog, I used to refer to him as the Historian, simply because he is one.  Oh and I’m Catholic by the way, hence the allusion to the Holy Trinity and it was of course also sunday.

Congratulations by the way to the English cricketers for retaining the Ashes.