Thursday, 24 July 2014

Sports days

The annual sports day - a ritual in the school calendar. Egg and spoon race, three-legged race, long jump, running, tug-of-war - these are always fun packed events! Its not just children though that get involved, adults are also keen to get in on the action, as the heritage photographs below show.

The annual NZ community sports day was taken and adapted from those in Britain - particularly the Scottish sports days, where professional athletes compete in a wide array of contests, including wood chopping!

Sports days have also been held for a wide variety of reasons: to acknowledge and commemorate particular days of the year, such as Labour Day and to raise funds for charity. This included sports days held on the home front during the First World War to raise funds for the troops. During this war time period, sports days were also held overseas on the fronts, to encourage fitness in the NZ troops, raise morale and encourage camaraderie.

Enjoy this action packed tour through sports days drawn from the heritage collections at Auckland Libraries!

Getting ready for the fun to begin:

Ref: AR Kingsford for Auckland Weekly News, sports day at a girls' college in the Nelson province, 1931, Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, AWNS-19310513-47-2
Ref: CV Browne for Auckland Weekly News, girls taking part in the Christchurch sports day, 1934, Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, AWNS-19341114-45-1
Running:

Ref: AR Kingsford for Auckland Weekly News, sports day at Nelson College, Nelson, 1932, Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, AWNS-19321116-44-2
Long jump:
Ref: Auckland Weekly News, long jumper at the Sacred Hearts College sports day, Auckland, 1911, Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, AWNS-19111102-16-1
Three-legged race:

Ref: Auckland Weekly News, start of the three-legged race, no location, 1924, Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, AWNS-19240320-38-1
Egg and spoon race (including the less well known egg and spoon race in the water, which looks very hard!):

Ref: Auckland Weekly News, Wellington City Council's staff in the egg and spoon race, no location, 1923, Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, AWNS-19230215-44-1
Ref: Auckland Weekly News, egg and spoon race in the water, no location, 1937, Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, AWNS-19370421-49-2
Ref: Auckland Weekly News, the egg and spoon race at the Napier Girls' High School sports day, 920, Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, AWNS-19201028-36-1
Tug-of-war:
Ref: Auckland Weekly News, Imperial Troops engaged in tug-of-war, the Auckland Domain, 1901, Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, AWNS-19010222-2-6
Obstacle courses:

Ref: Auckland Weekly News, obstacle race at HMS Prometheus' Trafalgar Day Sports, Auckland, 1905, Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, AWNS-19051026-11-1
Fancy dress:

Ref: Auckland Weekly News, fancy dress at the Solway College sports day, 1936, Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, AWNS-19361125-47-2
Wood chopping (as mentioned above, this was traditionally part of sports days in Britain, even if it does seem a wee bit odd):

Ref: Auckland Weekly News, wood chopping competition at the Wanganui athletic sports day, 1902, Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, AWNS-19020213-11-6
Sports days to celebrate particular events:

Ref: Auckland Weekly News, Chinese President holds a sports day to celebrate Chinese Republic Day, Karori Park, Wellington, 1923, Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, AWNS-19231018-47-2
Ref: Auckland Weekly News, Labour Day celebrations: sports at the Auckland Domain, 1923, Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries,AWNS-19231101-37-1
Receiving a prize:
Ref: Auckland Weekly News, Sports Day at South Canterbury Preparatory School, 1939, Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, AWNS-19391101-50-2
Fundraisers:
Ref: Auckland Weekly News, Sports Gala Day in aid of patriotic funds, Dunedin, 1941, Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, AWNS-19411008-24-4
Author: Natasha Barrett (NB)

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