The Final Lap

My final Sports Day in post was a glorious day, with the sun beating down in Stirling. As always there was a hive of activity setting up for the day and we’re really grateful to those that came early to help put up tents and move equipment about. Registration opened and then it felt like I blinked and it was mid-afternoon already. Looking around the field there was evidence of churches having a great time together as they cheered on competitors in their various sports.

There were 18 churches in total this year, with several hundred competitors and spectators. While the number of churches entering has declined slightly over the past few years, for those that are there on the day, the atmosphere is still great and you can hear people having fun all around the University complex. This was particularly true in the middle of the field as churches set up tents and gazebos, laid out folding chairs and picnic blankets, lounging about between sports, chatting together and deepening relationships.

We asked each church entering this year to also provide two volunteers to help during the day, and this eased the pressure of the day a lot. It was amazing to see so many people from our different churches come together to help create a space for our young people to compete in Sports. We also had a Volunteer Coordinator, Dez Johnston (South Beach, Saltcoats) who organised the team of people brilliantly on the day and made sure everything ran as smoothly as possible. This year we dropped the dance mat competition and set up a volunteers lounge instead, hosted by the Scottish Baptist College, but it was such a nice day people lounged out on the roof looking down instead.

Christians in Sport (CiS) partnered with us, providing quite a few volunteers on the day. Graeme Shanks was the CiS speaker at the awards ceremony, speaking eloquently about his passion for sport and for Christ, capturing our attention and giving us something to take away from the day to think about. It even turned out that he used to compete at Sports Day himself as a teenager! We’re really grateful to Kirsten Ross and her team and are so thankful for the way they serve at Sports Day. Each church will have gotten a pack from CiS in their registration bundle, but we would encourage any church with folks interested in sports to check them out as they have some amazing resources!

Our overall winners this year were Stirling Baptist, with Bearsden being the runners up. During the awards ceremony it was great to hear lots of names being read out as we celebrated with those who had won in various events, whether that was individual races/competitions or trophies in events. We gave out medals at the 10 and Under race finals (as well as lots of Haribo!) which gave the children competing something to take away from their day. Also awarded during the ceremony was the Sportsmanship trophy that was introduced for the first time last year. This award is given out to someone/a team nominated by an event Coordinator for showing integrity, sportsmanship and character in their event and is now a firm fixture in the awards line-up with it going to the Stirling Baptist Under 16s netball team this year.

As this was my last Sports Day, I’d also personally like to thank Jenny Wilson (and Ivy Young who did it before her) for all the hard work, time and effort they put into Sports Day. A lot of this goes unnoticed, but it really wouldn’t be possible for the day to go as well as it does without them and all they bring to it. Thank you!

It’s been a great day to be involved with!