Saturday, March 22, 2008

The Forgotten Unusual 1950's and 1960's School Sports Events

Remember the Slow Bicycle Race? What about the Sack Race? And the Spoon and Potato Race? Three legged race?

I cannot remember when these races were taken off the Sports Day Events list. But I remember we laughed ourselves silly at these races, at our friends and at ourselves.

The slow bicycle race probably went out of fashion in Sibu by 1960's. I cannot remember exactly which year it was when the event was taken out of the school sports day. I remember taking part one year and I was soon on my legs instead of on my bicycle. One lanky girl from another house won the slow bicycle race because she could steadily move ahead, inch by inch, and never for once put her foot down. It was a real test of balance and mental alertness. It is a pity that not only is the race no longer an item, even the bicycle is now something people do not event want to use. I just hope that one day more and more children will take to mountain bikes and ride around to look at nature and be environmentally friendly.

Many boys loved to be in the sack race because it seemed very easy. But more importantly it was a fun race. We would scream words of encouragement to them. The game was designed so that those who were not athletes could win a race based on skill, not really on speed. So many boys volunteered to take park. I remember the points collected by this race were not included in the total points for the sports house competition. In the race participants placed both of their legs inside a sack and hopped from a starting point toward a finish line.One particular boy was so good that he put his pointed toes into the tips of the gunny sack and ran all the way just like a ballet dancer, tip toed to the end. He won the race easily.

Sack racing is traditionally seen as an activity for children. I have not seen it for a long long time.

An egg and spoon race, or spoon and potato race, is a sporting event in which participants must carry an egg or a potato ,on a small spoon and race to the finish line without dropping the egg or potato.

Synthetic or hard-boiled eggs, potatoes or even ping balls have been used in recent years.

Here's a description of a three-legged race. "It is a game of cooperation between partners as much as it is one of speed. It involves two participants attempting to complete a short sprint with the left leg of one runner strapped to the right leg of another runner. The object is for the partners to run together without falling over, and beat the other contestants to the finish line.

Typically the contestants run over a distance of about 50 meters, with the trick being to coordinate the timing of the partner's step"

It is strange that what was fun in all those long ago days do not appeal to the new generation any more in Sibu.

Today, I would like to thank all the teachers and friends at school for being so sporting during sports have all made our days fun and happy. We really looked forward to sports days in our younger days. Those were truly days when we could breathe a different kind of air, and take our eyes off books, and perhaps get to know others a little better. We did not have the best of shoes or sports wear but we were just grateful to have a chance to develop our athletic skills without fear and discrimination. Sports training were quite inclusive then.

3 memories:

AlisonBuda said...

Perhaps you might want to write about aeroplane journey from Sibu to Kuching or other route eg to Spore in the past and how they evolve. The twin Otter (meant initially for Canadian Alaska) was also interesting. This air trael will be a thing of the past soon.

sarawakiana said...

Yes, one day I will write about the Twin Otter. I love that flying machine. Amazing!

Pity it is going out of flavour...

AlisonBuda said...

Banana fritters fried with PLASTIC in Malaysia — In Johor Baru town plastic straws and plastic bottles are seen to be added into boiling oil before frying the snack. This is done to make the product remain crispy over several hours. Plastic bottles are made from PVC (polyvinyl chloride) which can cause various forms of cancer and birth deformities if eaten.


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