Sports Day was an annual event in
the School calendar, although the venue was often different
In 1904 Te Kura records, “they were held in Mrs
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
obstacle and “consolation races” for the less athletic
students. It was
an all day family affair with picnic baskets, fun and high
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.
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.