Our Blog

School sports day ideas

22nd March 2018

You might literally find yourself jumping through hoops to organise a school sports day, but all the hard work is worth it to see your students having fun and keeping fit. 

What are the benefits of a school sports day?

  • It highlights the importance of rules

  • Students learn to set goals and have focus

  • It encourages teamwork through activities such as tug-of-war and relay races

  • It teaches students to learn to lose and how to accept defeat gracefully 

  • It shows students how to be a good winner

  • It increases student self-esteem and boosts their confidence

  • It improves health and fitness

Choose sports day games that include skills that your students have been learning throughout the year during their P.E lessons, so that they are confident taking part.

Activities you could use at sports day include: 

  • An obstacle course

  • Games using bean bags and hoops

  • Rolling races

  • A wheelbarrow race

  • A jumping race

  • Circuits

  • Races on space hoppers

Be clear on the rules at sports day

Make sure that every student understands the rules long before the actual day, with lots of practice time during P.E lessons. This ensures that sports day will be safe and your students’ confidence will be boosted before the event. 

Celebrate your students’ achievement

It is important to have an incentive for students to do their best and to reward hard work and taking part. It is a good idea to make sure every student taking part receives an achievement medal at primary school level, with those winning the races receiving special awards. Every student will treasure their award and this will encourage them to work even harder. 

Sports day reward ideas include:

  • School medals for a traditional awards ceremony

  • Shield badges - your students can wear them with pride after the event on their school blazers or school bags

  • Sports trophies - including ‘If you had fun you won’ to highlight the importance of taking part for enjoyment

  • School lanyards for sports day helpers

  • Bar badges - choose gold, silver and bronze for an Olympic themed sports day

Make sure everyone is having fun at sports day 

It is vital to focus on the fun during a sports day. Many students will not be naturally sporty and they may feel anxious or intimidated by the idea of sports day.

Make sure that you include some silly games to make your students laugh and boost their confidence. Try:

  • Bucket games involving water, such as water cup relays or apple bobbing

  • Messy games involving jelly 

  • Egg and spoon races

  • Welly wanging

  • Spider races (on all fours)

  • Dressing up races where students have to put on gloves/hats as they run

In addition, separate the races into ability by watching the children practice during lesson time - this way, there should be no students winning by miles or coming last by a long way. Make sure that you have older student helpers that run alongside those younger students coming last, to support them with words of encouragement. 

Choose a sports day theme

If a traditional sports day doesn’t appeal to you, try choosing a theme. The theme can run through the sports day brochure, outfits, badges and themed races. 

You can also continue the theme through classroom crafts and preparation with bunting and posters. 

Themes to consider include:

  • Superheroes

  • Book characters

  • Sporting heroes

  • Different colours/school houses

  • Different countries

Bring sports day into the classroom

Once sports day is over, keep the enthusiasm for physical activity up by writing about the sports day in a story or poem format, or by writing a school newspaper or magazine to report on the events.