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Old school sports day: An attendee’s journey

March 30 2020

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Pre-event

Cast your memory back to your school days. Think about the times when a teacher was splitting the class up into groups, you had your fingers crossed that you would be paired with your best friends but as always, you ended up in a team with a bunch of people you never really spoke to.

That’s how our summer team-building event started. It was a mixture of disappointment and annoyance, how was I ever going to cope for 2 hours without Karen and Sarah? Surrounding me were 49 other people from 3 different departments in our office; they were geared up in their gym attire which was surprisingly brightly coloured and incredibly tight fitting!

It was an unusual and slightly awkward setting; however, we were all there for the same thing… to work effectively as a team.

During the event

Within 10 minutes of the activity starting, I had not only introduced myself to my fellow teammates, I had bounced back and forth in a large sack as fast I could, leaving me red-faced, sweaty and shouting at the others to ‘hurry up’. You see, we didn’t have much time to do the formalities. We didn’t exchange the usual information about what we do, where we are from or what our children are called. We had a task at hand and we all wanted the same outcome – to beat the competition.

As soon as the whistle was blown, we all got involved. We jumped, we ran, we skipped and we all fell down at one point or another. The disappointment I earlier felt had been replaced with a strong sense of excitement, who knew I would have enjoyed this so much?

No matter what we were asked to do, our team rose to the challenge. We ran (or should I say briskly walked) to the furthest cone and back with a beanbag on our head, as well as with an egg on the end of our spoon and whilst having just three legs! Once all the variations of races had been completed, we finished up with a classic strength game, Tug of War.

I used this opportunity to take both Karen and Sarah down, of course with the help of my new friends. After some intense seconds of pulling, screaming, laughing and barely breathing, we were finally crowned champions!

Post event

Once the 2 hours were up, I said my goodbyes to my four new friends. I rode home as usual with Karen and Sarah, we exchanged stories and laughed about what we had done. When Monday came about, my new friend Jen drove me to work as it turned out she lived down my road. We met Sam in the foyer and grabbed a coffee before meeting Nick and Tom and heading up to the office, all taking our seats at our separate desks.

The Old School Sports Day event had already massively impacted the office as everybody was communicating with people who we never thought we would. Karen and Sarah introduced me to their new friends and over the next week, the atmosphere in the office completely changed. Everybody was energised, motivated and happy – we really did become one big team.