Rarely suits foster children, for lots of reasons.
First up; children who are taken into care are rarely sporty. Okay there are a few headliners who end up as footballers, but they're the exception.
The foster boys you get might sometimes say they support Man U, but they've never been to a game, although their 'dad' is a regular, even goes to the away games where "..people sometimes pick fights with him". The best they may have had is the occasional kick-about in the back garden, if there is one.
Looked after children, especially those who have recently been taken into care are often less than 100% fit.
Before coming into care children have suffered emotionally and physically; we've all had malnourished and over-nourished (wrong type of nourishment. We've had anxious and withdrawn. We've seen shortfalls in basic balance and co-ordination. Lack of self-esteem.
And along comes good old sports day, and our foster children are up against the strapping clear-eyed middle-class boys and girls whose parents have had them enrolled for tennis and football, kung fu and ballet from before they could walk.
I've talked to head teachers about sports day and they say they would have a problem with parents, the ones who send their children to tennis and ballet. I've talked to parents at sports day, here's a couple of quotes that stick in my mind;
"They have to learn to lose." As though foster children don't know about losing, they could do losing as their specialist subject on Mastermind.
"My husband is ultra-competitive"
I asked the woman what her husband did for a job, I won't tell you the answer, but believe me, if that's the best the ultra-competitive can do in life no wonder they look to their children for their triumphs.
Half the 'sports' are irrelevant. I've spent enough of my days playing with children in parks to know that never, ever, not once in the history of mankind, nor ever in humanity's future, even if we are here for a million million years will any child anywhere on planet earth ask mummy and daddy if they can borrow a flipping egg and spoon or a sack and play at races.
I've said to heads; "If it works, a public parade of children showing who's best and who's worst at something, let's do it for your staff, let's parade your teachers from most successful to the worst, line them up in order in front of all the school and the parents".
It's not as though school's teach the pursuit they publicly test the child on. They don't teach running. Running happens when they play games, but competitive sprinting involves techniques, running on the balls of the feet, co-ordinating arm movements, getting a stride pattern which suits the child's physique.
The head's final riposte, when I've exhausted myself on behalf of my looked-afters is that it's just a bit of fun and it doesn't really matter.
Everything matters, every child's every experience matters.
Every sports day I've attended there is one person having the most fun; the teacher who gets to be the announcer. Usually the head.