I took Marcus to his first Little Athletics meet on Saturday. The local group meet at Sandown Park near Sandy Bay beach - which is a lovely spot. It was a superb morning and really pleasant to be there, exchanging chit chat with the other parents. He had four events - long jump, 100m race, 150m race and discus. He did pretty well in all. They keep detailed records of everyone's times and distancs, and the emphasis is heavily on improving your own performances.
Katherine from Marcus's grade at school was there, sporting five or six badges she had earned. When Marcus got the idea that badges were for improving, not winning, he very quickly hatched the idea of deliberately doing badly at his first try. That way - next week, badges aplenty! I commended his ingenuity but asked him to please perform on his merits lest we provoke some kind of stewards enquiry.
It was all pretty relaxed and fun. In some cases a bit too relaxed. Discuses (which I really want to call discii) were flying in all directions, whizzing past heads. I thought (but didn't say) that giving discuses to the six year olds was like giving whisky to the Indians.
I can see if Marcus got involved on a weekly basis, I would find myself becoming a steward, then perhaps a marshall and perhaps, eventually, a delegate. Somewhere there is a blazer with my name on it.