Local Authority: South Tyneside Council
Library where I am volunteering: South Tyneside Central Library
Favourite Book: Wilkie Collins - The Woman in White
Best thing about volunteering with StoryLab: The best thing about volunteering with StoryLab is how I, and the children involved, get to spend the summer doing something productive, fun and enjoyable.
The real sporting event of the summer
Forget London 2012, the real sporting event of the summer was the Story Lab Summer Reading Challenge sports day!
On August 10th 2012, South Tyneside Central Library opened its doors to a flock of young athletes poised for an afternoon of fun-filled sporting events. Excited laughter and broad smiles filled the room as our competitors divided themselves into teams, with one youngster exclaiming 'I'm going for gold!'. After a quick snapshot of the Red, Green and Yellow teams together, we were ready. Let the games begin!
Seven events on offer
First up of the seven events was the hockey slalom. Despite a few stray balls, our competitors demonstrated excellent control whilst weaving the balls through the cones and the race proved to be a close call. Next up was target practice, and after a cautionary 'Watch my head!' from Catrin our target holder, our athletes were off. Many ended up scoring the maximum six points and I'm pleased to say Catrin remained unharmed! Our third, and possibly most impressive, event was the hula hooping challenge. All of the competitors gave a valiant effort but the real star of the show was one Yellow team member who racked up an impressive 81 rotations! That has got to be a world record! Up next was the classic egg and spoon race, which proved to be a favourite with our contestants. However, it's a good job we didn't use real eggs or there would have been a lot of mess to clear up! The fifth event, the beanbag on head race, was another favourite, with all of our athletes completing the course in a super quick time. Usain Bolt eat your heart out! Next was the skipping event. After sorting out a slight technical difficulty (tangled skips), our participants put in excellent performances, making this another difficult event to judge. The final event of the afternoon was the ring toss. Being the final event, and the last opportunity to score points for their team, a lot of pressure was placed on our athletes to deliver. And deliver they did, each performing to the best of their abilities.
Medals and sportsmanship
With the games over, it was time to count up the scores and determine our winners. A nervous air surrounded the athletes as we waited for the independent adjudicator to tot up the points. A loud cheer resounded as the Red team were announced as our gold medal winners, closely followed by the Yellow team in the silver medal position, and the Green team with bronze. The medal ceremony followed, and the nervous air was replaced by pride and happiness. Regardless of the colour of their medals, our competitors displayed excellent sportsmanship, clapping and congratulating each other as they were presented with their medals.
Overall, the sports day was a huge success and will no doubt be a highlight of the StoryLab Summer Reading Challenge for many. And you never know, we could see some of our participants compete at the next Olympics. Rio 2016 better prepare themselves!
Interested in volunteering in your local library? Find out more about Reading Activists and how you can get involved.