Nara JETNet 22nd Event
International Sports Day
On April 19th, 2008, The Nara JETNet team held its 22nd international event, an International Sports Day, at Uda City Community Sports Center.
The event involved a total of 70 elementary and middle school students. 34 JETs from eight countries introduced sports and games from their home countries and interacted with the children in small groups.
The children were quite excited to get started, as participants started filing in half an hour before registration was scheduled to start. At 10.00am, the event began with a brief introductory speech and explanation of the day’s events. The JETNet team then proceeded with warm up exercises to avoid injuries later on.
The participants were then split into 8 teams to played a gesture game before getting back into one massive group to play British Bulldog. The last warm-up of the morning activities was the French game of ‘Mouchoir’ where 2 teams compete to grab a handkerchief. Everyone was very energetic and enthusiastic when we took a break for lunch.
Due to bad weather, outside activities were canceled and so the days plan was modified slightly to accommodate playing cricket inside. Therefore, after lunch, the children were divided into groups to play 4 activities: Cricket, Volley-Ball, Dodgeball and Frisbee.
As there were so many young children, the games were not played by normal strict rules. For each game, a pair of JETs (except for Dodgeball which was masterfully single handled by the NIFS CIR) adapted their explanation of the games and the rules to make it children friendly and a lot of fun for everyone.
Each team had a score card that was marked by the activity leaders at the end of each game. The team with the most points won a prize at the end of day, although there was no special focus put on the competition.
The final activities of the day were relay races. Teams started out with a posture relay race (balancing a book as they race), then an egg and spoon race (although the egg was replaced by a small plastic ball) and finally a costume relay race, which was by far the most interesting to watch.
With the day’s events finished and everyone exhausted from running around all day, we conducted an aural survey and the winners of the afternoon’s competition were announced. Three teams tied for first place. We had a tie breaker, settled by a final relay race.
Surveys showed that everyone had a wonderful time! For the Children, the most popular game was dodgeball but they were not very keen on cricket. Despite this, JETNet is proud to have brought cricket to this event (thanks to an Australian ALT who got hold of a cricket set) so that the kids experienced a sport, that is so popular in the UK, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, India, Pakistan etc. The JETs also liked dodgeball, as well as the costume relay race. More importantly, our survey revealed that the level of interaction between the children and the JETs was the best that JETNet has ever achieved (100%). In other words, participants were able to learn a lot while they interacted with people from around the world. All in all, the Sports Day was a great success, and the JETNet team would like to thank everyone who took part in it.