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We’ll be jumping for joy with your sports day memories

It's a close race in the Year 9 200 metre finals for females at High Tunstall in 1995.
It's a close race in the Year 9 200 metre finals for females at High Tunstall in 1995.

It’s a staple part of any British summer.

Hurdles, long jump, javelin, high jump – they are all part of it.

The Year 8 75-metre hurdles finals is neck and neck at High Tunstall.

The Year 8 75-metre hurdles finals is neck and neck at High Tunstall.

There was the challenge of the triple jump, the thrill of the relays and the exhausting prospect of tackling the mile.

We’re talking, of course, about the annual sports day which was relished – and sometimes hated – on school fields up and down the land.

It was no different in Hartlepool where runners batled down the back straight with their enthusiastic classmates screaming them on.

But the annual school sports day seemed to be attracting even more headlines than normal in 1995 when there were growing concerns that children were just not getting their dose of competitive activity.

It made headlines in Hartlepool at the time, especially at comprehensive schools which were right behind a new campaign launched by John Major.

High Tunstall School, Manor and English Martyrs were all jumping for joy that Mr Major was launching a curriculum plan to put physical education back on the programme in a big way.

PE was going to be compulsory up to the age of 16, and that meant games as a part of it.

Mr Major wasn’t too fussy on which games you played, as long as it included at least some of the more traditional ones such as football, cricket, rugby, hockey and netball.

And he stipulated that schools were expected to provided an extra four-hours-a-week minimum on top of whatever they were already doing.

Back in 1995, the Mail caught up with children and their teachers as they tackled sports day. Who remembers this?

Ian Broom was deputy head teacher at High Tunstall at the time and said sport was important but then again, so were many aspects of school life.

Similar views emerged from some of the students who we interviewed at the time. They certainly were up for their requisite level of competition.

Victoria Bruce was 12 at the time and said she loved sport. She backed what Mr Major had to say and added: “Mr Major is right to talk about how important it is.” Her friends Donna McManus, 11, and Lauren knight, 14, were in complete agreement.

David Reach was deputy head at Manor School and said Manor was always strong at spot. He called for more investment while head of PE at English Martyrs was Alec Rice who also wanted to see the Govenment put the money where it’s mouth was.

What are your memories of school sports day? Did you love it or hate it? Which house were you in?

And did your school stick to the traditional events or did you have some quirky alternatives? Perhaps the sack race, egg and spoon race - or something more unique altogether.

We would love your memories. Get in touch and tell us more. Do it by emailing chris.cordner@jpress.co.uk