"...We want to encourage... children (to) try their best..."
Huge event, with pages and pages of carefully organised heats, and both serious swim rounds and easier or "fun" rounds, totalling a whopping 4 hours in that blazing sun. Lotsa prior warnings from the school, that it was going to be super hot and sunny, and boy it really was.
"...There's some children who never thought they could win a swimming event and here they've won some..."
Rockstar had 2 scheduled events (and swimming is by no means his thing.) Ok, I feel like a fluffy swim story is in order - my beloved Brisbane former boss used to describe to us in the dealing room how in Australian competitive swimming, they pick the kids for serious training quite early, and at least partly based on size/height. Somewhat incongruously, given our surroundings, he would talk about sheer arm span and hand size and what-not... and how those chosen kids trained and trained dawn til dusk from young and it was their whole life and later on their whole career... and I might be tempted to say Well My Kid Used To Be In The Lowest 5th Percentile For Size So Bye-Bye Competitive Swimming 😀 (though by now it's closer to 30th Percentile), but there were some pint-size "bullets" from his school torpedo-ing about the pool that day, it wasn't just the (very) tall kids who were strong swimmers (though some really were that amazing)..
And then my former boss would talk about how when he travelled in and out of Aussieland he'd drop that his (now former) son inlaw Kieren Perkins was coming to pick him up at the airport, and watch the Oh Great, Another Fruitcake flicker of irritation cross the face of the immigration officers checking his luggage...... until they looked up and saw Mr Perkins waiting at the Arrivals gate.
(Yes, most of us met him, he used to
come into dwarf the little dealing room, and introductions were just art, in their meh-ness:
Boss: Hi --- meet my son-inlaw. <pause> His name is Kieren Perkins.
Local RM: Oh, hello. You must find Hong Kong quite different. Have you been to Yat Tung Heen? You must try their dim sum.
Boss: He's a competitive swimmer you know. He's swum in the Olympics.
Local RM: <looks the towering Mr Perkins up and down again> Oh yeah, can see that. You look like a swimmer. Well hope you enjoy your stay <wanders off>)
😀 Anyway. As for school swim meet, you should see the serious swimmers, some of those kids in the big events like 200m Butterfly/ Crawl/Backstroke/Breaststroke are really, really good. Like, Hang-On-That's-Not-A-Grownup-Charging-Up-And-Down-The-Pool It's A Little Kid -good. I asked another parent if their child trains and swims competitively and they were, "What? No, just.. <10 year old girl in question is bearing down the length of the pool in a brisk butterfly stroke> for fun.." Um, ok. 😀
Everyone got to "compete," and most of 'em in several events, just as though they were all strong swimmers.
There was so much effort put into organising this thing, with each child's name listed in each lane, volunteers pairing up to time them, and two "head timekeepers" doubling up to help check the times kept by the volunteers. Many of the kids were also moving between swimming in an event, picking up times scores and running them to the teachers, and cheering their friends and houses on.
There were also the "fun" races, where you have to get a beach ball across, or move with boards and noodles...
..and moving across the pool when attached to two other kids and their noodles 😀