child running on track at sports day

How To Plan A Sports Day

With the days getting longer and the Easter break just around the corner, all eyes are on the Summer term. This period of time is often the highlight for students, with a number of exciting activities taking place to mark the end of another successful school year. For teachers, however, end-of-term festivities come with a big chunk of additional planning.

Sports Day is one of the biggest events taking place in the Summer term - and it’s also one of the days that requires the most organisation! While the exact date was probably set prior to the start of the whole school year, it’s now that teachers will be ramping up Sports Day planning and putting together the final plans for the event. Read on to discover how to stay on top of your Sports Day planning and guarantee that the occasion will be a success.

Choose Your Events

First things first, decide what kind of events you want to run on the day. Age and ability will be the most important things to consider here, but it’s also worth thinking about whether you want to keep things traditional with an athletics focus or go off-piste with a wide variety of sports to keep all the pupils entertained. If you’ve got the resources to manage it, a combination of fun events alongside sports that classes will have practised in PE lessons is always a good way to go. 

Check Your Venue

Once you have a rough idea of what will be going on during the event, you can start to think about how best to use your facilities. Of course, the space you have available will also affect the kinds of sports you can run so it’s worth considering these two vital pieces of planning side by side. With things starting to firm up, get any extra booking for external facilities early, organise for pitches and tracks to be marked in good time ahead of the day, and prepare any central space for presentations and celebrations.

Create A Programme For The Day

Next, you must get a proper programme for the day in place. A clear event schedule keeps things running smoothly and ensures that all staff and students know exactly where they need to be and at what time. If you’re not sure where to start, it’s always better to overestimate rather than underestimate the time an event will take as this helps reduce the risk of anything running over and clashing. Then, once you’re confident you’ve got every event allocated to a time and a place, circulate the schedule amongst staff with plenty of time to spare so that they can feel fully prepared and confident about what will be required on the day. 

Remember, Sports Day often requires input from staff across all departments - while PE teachers will be used to manning these kinds of events, it will be new to others and anything you can do to help them lead with confidence will be welcomed!

Get Equipment Sorted Early

You won’t get very far without the right kit on the day. Fortunately, by getting plans in place early, you’ll have plenty of time to check that all of your Sports Day equipment is in good nick! Most schools will already have all of the basic sports gear needed - relay batons, skipping ropes, beanbags, footballs etc.- but do have a proper think about whether you’ve got enough for a school-wide rather than class-specific event. Consider if there’s anything else you need to keep the event running smoothly. Extra whistles and stopwatches are always a good idea, as are waterproof notebooks and pens for keeping track of results, times and records. 

Have A Contingency Plan

The weather can jeopardize even the most thoroughly planned Sports Day. Unfortunately, there is not much you can do if the sun fails to shine when your event day comes. However, there are measures you can take to put a contingency plan in place. This may include swapping outdoor events for indoor ones if you have the physical space or moving the whole day to a pre-agreed reserve date. If the latter is your best option, make sure to circulate this date amongst staff, students, parents and carers with plenty of time so that everybody knows it’s a possibility.