I have to be honest in saying that I think that when it came to the lottery of education, I struck it lucky. I went to good secondary schools, got good grades in my GCSEs and A Levels and went to a UK Russell Group university.
However, when it came to physical education (or PE lessons as they’re known in UK schools), it was a very different story. Whilst I was good at academic subjects, I was awful at activity demanding physical exertion. Like a typical nerdy kid, I was uncoordinated and unfit, with poor fine motor skills and no stamina to speak of. PE was the subject I liked the least at school – and no wonder, given the amount of disasters I had when it came to any sports-related activity.
Given the fact PE lessons are no longer a compulsory part of my life after I went to my final one just before doing my GCSEs, I’d managed to put some distance between myself and the horrors I regularly endured in sports-related classes. However, looking back, these moments do make for utterly comical anecdotes.
I was initially planning to write an account about my experiences with sports while I was at school, but I realised the amount of tales I had to tell meant it was going to be a bit of an essay and difficult to get through. Instead, I’ve written a list of 15 of the most cringeworthy and/or hilarious sport-related incidents that happened to me at school, in no particular order. For all those people who were rubbish at PE like me, this is for you.
Here’s to all the people who:
1. Came last in running races at Sports Day in primary school
2. Bent one of their fingers back in Year 1 when them and their class were practising bouncing a harder ball and it rebounded too far off the tarmac of the playground
3. Had to be taken out of their class’ normal PE lesson at primary school to take part in one-to-one “catching practise” with the trainee teacher
4. Were, along with three other less PE-minded people in their year, selected to attend an after-school ping pong club at the local secondary school, clearly designed for people who didn’t excel in PE
5. Were intentionally sent to a jazz dance class by their mothers in a bid to improve their coordination
6. Were put into a school swimming class in the baby swimming pool in YEAR 4 (meaning they were EIGHT YEARS OLD at the time)
7. Were responsible for the game ‘Ladders’ not being played any longer at their Guide unit when one time, it was their turn to race and they tripped over a row of legs
8. Suffered the humiliation of being the last person left when students got to pick teams
9. Were always one of the first few people out in the bleep test at secondary school
10. Once accidentally hit a volleyball so it bounced off a wall and then off a teacher’s head
11. Managed to hit themselves on the head with a javelin when throwing it (luckily it was the side of it, not the point)
12. Couldn’t do a sit-down drop on the trampoline
13. Couldn’t even make it into the pit in their long jump heat one year at Sports Day, got laughed at by their peers and gave up trying once they got round to their third jump
14. Mortified by the long jump event the year before, most likely ended up stopping their secondary school house from winning the house cup one year as their parents, with the support of their child, wrote the Head of PE a note refusing to let them take part in another Sports Day javelin event two years later (not participating in Sports Day supposedly meant their house would lose house points and at the end of the year, their house came second to the winning house by just one point)
Hope you enjoyed this post – there are plenty more mortifying PE moments like these in the story of my life. I would absolutely love to hear your sports nightmares! Please comment with your embarrassing PE moments and we can all make light of them together!