AISHK 25th Anniversary Throwback: Our First Sports Day

Students wearing green and yellow for Sports Day as they sit on the school’s field at the Gun Club School, Tsim Sha Tsui

On Friday 27 October, 1995, AISHK hosted its very first ‘Fun Sports Day’ on the field at the Gun Club Hill School, Tsim Sha Tsui. Students were placed into green or yellow teams and were encouraged to wear their team’s colour for the event. They participated in a variety of games including leapfrog, tyre rolling, relay races, tunnel ball and bean bag balancing. The school at the time had approximately 90 students but were awaiting 50 new enrolments, totalling 140 students by the next term. As with many school events, especially in the earlier years, the event relied on the support of parents to supervise games and to help with the BBQ. There was even a three-legged race for children and parents to join in the fun together.

“I think the first Sports Day was a way to celebrate having a big field for the children to use. One of the parents, Chris Bustin, played a big role in organising corporate support. While we were small, it was a great way for the whole school, plus parents, to be involved.” – Margaret Merrell (Primary Principal, 1995-2003)

“What I remember most about the day was the joy of the students running free on the field along with the most supportive and committed parent body. The sense of being one family – students, staff and parents made this a special and memorable first. It was an example of the ethos of the school.” – Chris Neilsen (Principal, 1996-2003)

On Wednesday 30 July, 1997, a school-wide competition was held to decide the “permanent” House names. Prior to the competition, the Houses were simply known was Blue, Green, Red and Yellow. The brief for the names was that they were to “convey the Australian nature of the school”. One and a half months later, the names were official: Jacaranda (blue), Wattle (yellow), Waratah (red) and Eucalypt (green).

Today, we still see games from the original Sports Day continue as traditions in the Early Childhood ‘Athletics Fun Day’ from sack jumping races and egg and spoon races, and the Primary Athletics Carnival from tunnel ball to bean bag balancing. For many years, the school’s Athletics Carnivals have been hosted at Kings Park, Yau Ma Tei. In 2019, the Early Childhood Athletics Fun Day moved to the AISHK Field, nostalgically giving us a sense of what Sport Days were like back in the day. Below is an except from Dhanara dated Friday 29 November, 2019, from Andrew Wookey (PDHPE Teacher, 2019- ), who was the main coordinator of the event.

“On Tuesday 26 November, 2019, over 250 Early Childhood students took part in their annual Athletics Carnival and Sports Day. The students took part in a modified program after the carnival was moved from Kings Park to the AISHK Field – a move which saw many of the older students, parents and staff able to come down support, cheer on and help create an energetic and exciting atmosphere for the students taking part in the carnival.”