School Sports Day: A Survival Guide For Parents

H. Armstrong Roberts

Here's how to be a supportive parent on school sports day:

Do make sure your children's trainers fit and they know how to tie their own laces, otherwise go for Velcro.

Do come with enough cool water to fill an office water cooler and a ready supply of non-melting, favourite snacks.

Do try and witness your child's sporting achievements – or at least pretend you have convincingly.

Do dress for the elements – either extreme heat or torrential downpours – but without embarrassing your children. No primary coloured cagoules or floppy sun hats and swimming cossies.

Don't become so immersed in school gossip you turn your back on the track.

Don't try for a Mexican wave of one, or cheer too manically. You're aiming for supportive, not nutty.

Don't run onto the field shrieking 'my baby', if your child falls over.

Don't offer your child top tips from the starting post or complain about decisions. Too pushy. And if there's a parents' race do not change shoes or suddenly strip off your skirt to reveal running shorts.

Don't offer to get coffees. You'll end up with a complicated order for 20, clothes covered in cappuccino stains and have missed your child's one chance at sporting glory.