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Fun and games: What are your memories of school sports day in Aberdeen?

The pupils at Victoria Road Primary School in Torry couldn't help but laugh and smile while watching the dads' race in 1988.
The pupils at Victoria Road Primary School in Torry couldn't help but laugh and smile while watching the dads' race in 1988.

Whether you loved it or loathed it, school sports day is an institution to be enjoyed – or endured – by virtually every pupil at some point in their education.

It’s that time of year again where many children gather at playing fields and local parks to test their athleticism and agility.

For young competitors it’s all about trying to stay upright in the sack race, balancing an egg (or potato in Aberdeenshire) on a spoon while trying to run in a straight line, and praying your three-legged race partner isn’t a foot taller than you.

There was always one who would try to sneakily hold their egg on their spoon with their thumb, or find the sack with the convenient hole in the bottom.

At secondary school things got a bit more serious: weeks beforehand, janitors would have the grass perfectly manicured and the running track painted out in preparation.

Only the top pupils from PE classes would be selected to represent their houses on the track and field, and for the less athletic, it was a delightful afternoon off to cheer on pals.

Sports day is a rite of passage growing up in north-east, and if you went to school in the 1990s, there was often a packet of Space Raiders and a Bon Accord fizzy drink in it for you too.

 

Join us as we open the archives and reminisce on those character-building, often rainy afternoons spent on the sports field in shorts.


This delightful photo from the 1930s shows the young ladies of St Margaret’s School for Girls jumping for joy in their Tate and Lyle sacks during the sack race.

Despite partaking in sport, the junior and senior girls still looked very smart in their uniforms.


Fast forward a few years to rural Aberdeenshire and it’s unmistakably the 1980s with some snazzy sportswear.

Triumphant pupils Graham Ewan and Pauline Duncan show off their trophies with teacher Wilma Dalton after Methlick Primary’s sports day in 1983.


These youngsters at Lumphanan Primary made their own signs representing their houses for the school sports day in June 1984.

Pupils enjoyed the sack race and a cross country run; the boys’ race was won by speedy Scott Michie, with Keith MacIntosh and Raymond Smith taking second and third places.


There were smiles all round at Victoria Road Primary School’s sports day in Torry in June 1988.

Pupils enjoyed the usual races and an obstacle course, but the laughter below was reserved for watching the dads compete in the dad’s race.


As if the three-legged race wasn’t difficult enough to co-ordinate, these plucky pupils at St Margaret’s were tied together for the egg and spoon race in 1988.

Just managing to keep their balance to take first place were Sheena Henderson and Alex Hay, with Laura Conley and Kathleen Lee following close behind.


It was a photo finish for these Broomhill Primary School boys at their sports day hosted at the Chris Anderson Stadium in 1998.

All the youngsters put a lot of effort into the 100m final, but it was Christopher Armstrong who was victorious on the day.


There was a big crowd at Elrick Primary School’s sports day in Westhill in 2005 to cheer on the youngsters during the girls’ sack race.


Sports day is all fun and games for the children, but one highlight is always seeing your mum or dad getting competitive – and maybe a bit embarrassing – for the parents’ race.

These dads at Marchburn Infant School’s sports afternoon were certainly put through their paces in 2005, having to dive through little hoola-hoops on the obstacle course.

Fruits of labour: Did you go berry picking in Aberdeenshire during the summer?

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