Athletic Sports

By 1904 Sports Day was an annual event in the School calendar, although the venue was often different each year.  In 1904 Te Kura records, “they were held in Mrs Fitzherbert’s grounds at the Hutt” and the following year at Miramar and in 1907 in Taita. The events look familiar even today  - “flat races” (the name given to the 100 yards, 220 yards etc.), hurdles and high jumps. There were also obstacle and “consolation races” for the less athletic students. It was an all day family affair with picnic baskets, fun and high spirits, and usually held in November.

As the school grew, so did the required organisation for the event. The printing of the programme in 1910 was sponsored by suppliers to the School, and parents and students were soon playing a part in the making the day a success. One of these was Mr Maurice Denniston who, it is said, started every race between 1909 and his death in 1935.

It was not until 1925 that the sports were held in Karori (the year before the school officially opened on the site). The “Tea Committee”, largely made up of senior girls, managed lunch and tea allowing staff time to enjoy the occasion.

As the Boarding House grew, Sports Day became a weekend event, usually in March,  when out of town parents could enjoy time with their daughters, catch up with friends and meet with staff to check the academic progress of their children. Added to this, there was a Church Service attended by the School and parents, and the Headmistress hosted a social gathering for parents in her garden.
Sports Day in Karori, 1929 

The sports were run by the Parents’ Association in the morning and the staff in the afternoon. All students were expected to participate in some event, for which they earned points for their House. Staff, Parents and Old Girls were required to compete in relays too.  The family atmosphere continued with the Houses running food stalls, in support of their House charity, adding gastronomic delights to the lunch provided by their parents. This pattern followed until the Boarding House closed and the Sports took on its current style.  They are now held on a School day, initally at School, but moved to Newtown Park in 2001.
Long jump 1938