Posted by: Sam Olsen | March 2, 2012

The Chronicles of Larry 20: sports day

Not the only dribbling I do

So it’s sports day at school. What is a 15 and three-quarter month old youngster got to offer the world of running, athletics and egg & spoon races? Well, actually, quite a lot.

Dad has given Tessie the morning off so he can take me along. Not sure why – hope it’s not to get too competitive. That’s my job after all.

We’re waiting for the coach in our sports kit: yellow polo shirts and matching hat. Not exactly manly, but hey ho. The coach arrives after ages waiting in the cold; as soon as we are on I have a pre-tournament snooze. Nerves aren’t a problem for me.

So school have decided to make sports day memorable by hiring out one of the largest sports stadiums of Hong Kong. And boy am I going to do the venue proud. The pain. The glory. All will be mine.

There are a series of events lined up for us, some more ridiculous than others. The first is having to run across some hoops. Brilliant. Top marks for whoever designed that. The next is to follow a wavy line on the floor whilst carrying a beanbag. Really? And don’t get me started on the football stand. Rather than dribble the ball to the end, we have to carry it in a flourescent towel. What on earth is that all about? Needless to say I drop the towel and just boot the ball as hard as I could. Always good to make Dad run a bit.

But now it’s time to get serious: it’s big race time. The race to end all races. The raciest of them all. Yep, the ‘carry ping pong balls for 20 yards in a small net normally designed to take tropical fish out of their tanks and then drop the ball in a colour coded box at the end’ competition is upon us. The teacher makes us line up at the start. Dad’s paws are moist. He surveys the opposition. I look ahead, focusing on the task. My heart beats faster and faster. I can’t take the wait much longer…

And we’re off. Dad steps in front of the man next to him giving us a second head start. My legs pump, my eyes fixed on the ball in net. Disaster! The ball flies out, hitting the track and rolling off. Dad quickly swoops like a bald(ing) eagle on its prey, gathering the mischievous pelota in his fingers and popping it back in the net. We reach the yellow box, but in the brouhaha I forget what I am meant to do. “Put it in the hole!” Dad suggests, calmly as you might expect.

Job done, we race back to the box of balls and start the process again. This time I drop the net in the hole too, which irritates him greatly. What fun. And then we return for yet another go.

Six, seven, eight… after the tenth I feel a bit out of breath but Dad keeps us going.

Until we look up and realise that we’re the only ones racing. We whooped them! Well, actually, all the other competitors have moved on to the next stand. It’s not us being over competitive, but them being sore losers. I’m sure. Andthey didn’t have my Dad to slow them down. Losers.

Larry the (unofficial) Champion

At last it’s time for the medals ceremony. I barely contain my disgust at them handing out medals to every one of the kids – I clearly posted more ping-pong balls than they did. This place becomes more and more like a socialist paradise each day (or Britain, to use its proper title).

But it all fades to grey as we head home in the coach, a well-earned rest taking the place of the food that Dad forgot to pack for me. I’m already dreaming of next year’s victories…



  1. Hi Larry, ask your Mum about the time I beat her in the 800m circa 1992!! Your Mum was always a wizz at maths unlike me but I got my own back! xxx

    • Don’t worry Aunty Sarah, I will! xx

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