Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Sports Day (27 May)

Sports Day is the last day of freedom for the final year students in high school.  It’s their last participation in a school event and their last fun day before they have to get even more serious about studying for the KSAT in November.  It’s also a day anticipated by the rest of the school and competition, as always, is great.

For the last few weeks, there have been several preliminary rounds between the various classes to determine the two teams to compete in the finals on the actual Sports Day.  Games include: soccer, dodgeball, basketball and others that I’m not too certain of.  Like everything else in Korea, it’s a big competition and the kids take this rather seriously, determined not to be the weakest link in their team.  They diligently practise and write in their journals of their determination to be the best that they can be and to do their respective teams proud.  For my school, there are three teams grouped according to their language majors: Chinese, Japanese and Spanish.

The festivities continue throughout the day as the teams compete to get the highest overall score, win individual competitions and the best cheering prize.   The teams have clearly worked hard to create original cheers and to show their spirit.  Also, each sports event is taken seriously whether it is jumping rope, the soccer final, basketball, tug-or-war or the ladder below.  Naturally, there are a few injuries along the way and a few disappointed enthusiasts but a lot of fun is clearly had by all – including the teachers who join in for a soccer game.

Surprising T-shirts

Another big part of the day is the team t-shirts.  Even the teachers have been divided into the three teams and sport the matching team shirts that the students wear.  Apparently the students could choose what they wanted written on the back of their shirts and the classes chose messages for their various teachers too.   Six-pack, having recently broken up with his girlfriend, has a message on his shirt that apparently reads, “Looking for a girlfriend”. 

However, these shirts are my personal favourite:  How, on earth, they managed to get these shirts approved, I’ll never know so all I can say is…Oh, Korea!

Incidentally, number 18 manages to cover this message in both English and Korean.  The Korean word for "18" is the same as the English word on her shirt....

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