Elin's Sports Day is amazing. I can't remember if I have blogged about this before or not so apologies if I'm covering old ground. The children in Elin's school join in with the mainstream part of the school, as they do with several other things, and the atmosphere on sports Day is always great. The children are mixed up and split into several teams, which are always various countries. It's lovely to see the children together and particularly to see Elin and her friends included so wholly in the event. Obviously when you have a lot of children in chairs, it could phase some schools - particularly in such a physically-driven activity. Not Elin's school. The children are simply included completely and even the obstacle race proves to be no problem, as little friends from mainstream school are encouraged to race with Elin and her classmates, imaginatively 'helping' to overcome the obstacles for them (basically flinging the obstacles out of the way!). Of course, special mention has to go to the staff of Elin's school, who have to *literally* do the leg work, running in the heat with chairs containing not only fairly heavy kids but sometimes oxygen cylinders and suction machines too! This is yet another testament to their love and dedication towards the children, as I know plenty of staff in mainstream schools that would refuse to get up and do anything in front of groups of parents, citing embarrassment, let alone leg it like a maniac down a race track pushing a wheelchair on the hottest day of the year.
This was Elin's third Sports Day. I was so nervous before her first one, I remember I thought I might feel a little sad. I thought it would be too hard, seeing Elin in her chair amongst the able-bodied children. I thought it might feel like she stuck out like a sore thumb and there would be parents standing around feeling sorry for her. I couldn't have been more wrong, I soon realised. She was just simply one of them, as were all her gorgeous little friends. I couldn't fail, on that day and every year since to feel anything but happy, because once again we are reminded how lucky Elin is to be part of a school whose motto on Sports Day is "It's not the taking part, it's the winning that counts"!! Tongue in cheek of course, but a refreshing refusal to patronise these children as can so often be, albeit well meaningly, the case. Oh- if you are wondering- Elin won her three races..or technically Lyn, her amazing key worker, did! Go team France!! (But believe me, every single child and member of staff there today deserves a medal in my opinion.) Allez, Allez, Allez!!!
Sports Day last year. Team Egypt.
This year, team France! Hmm those legs seem to have grown quite a bit in 12 months!
Go on Elin!
Absolutely shattered after lots of heat and a busy day! But so pleased with '1st' place! :-)