As we approach the end of the school summer term, lots of schools are now having their school sports day. These days are arranged so the young kids can enjoy themselves by taking part in fun events such as the egg and spoon, the sack race and throwing a bean sack into a hoop. However, for parents attending these events to show support for their little pieces of pride and joy, the day takes on a completely different meaning. Anyone who’s ever attended one of these days knows why – THE PARENT’S RACE!
Following a disappointing 5th place finish in the dad’s race at his daughter’s recent school (Didsbury C of E) sports day, our physiotherapist, Ross Whiteside, writes about the perils of taking part in such events and some possible bits of advice you might want to follow so as not to spend the summer unable to walk or cocooned in plaster of Paris.
The Pulled Calf Muscle
Mike Whiteside (retired GP, father of 3)
‘It was one of those lovely hot summer days and we were booked to go on a family holiday to Portugal a week later. I knew I wasn’t the fastest and I’d gone to the sports day with no intention of running in a race. However, looking at some of the more portly figures on the other fathers in the race line up, I suddenly fancied my chances and once my son had asked me to win it for him, I found my competitive spirit and thought Gold would be mine!
‘As the school teacher shouted “Go”, I took an early lead but half way in to the race, I felt like someone had shot me in the back of my leg. I fell to the floor in agony unable to move. I’m not sure which was worse though, the pain in my leg or the bruised ego. Over the next few days my calf turned purple and swelled like a balloon. Fortunately I’d not completely torn it and I still managed to make it to Portugal but I could only hobble short distances.’
These types of muscle injuries are avoidable with the correct warm up routine. If you would like treatment for a similar injury, call us at our UK Physiotherapy clinic based at MediaCityUK, Salford on 0161 713 3676 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Please read our other blogs for advice on treating muscle strains and tears and also our advice on staying injury free while running:
The Broken Hand
Henry Davies (chemical engineer, father of 2)
‘It was that summer when it rained and rained and most of the South West flooded and Rhianna’s ‘Umbrella song’ was in the charts. The school sports day had to be moved indoors into the school hall. Really, from a health and safety point of view, there should not have been a race but some of the parents demanded it especially as they’d attended the day dressed in full running kit and trainers.
‘I’ve always been fast and was the reigning champion from the previous year so maintaining my title was very important although my daughter didn’t seem that interested. Anyway, we lined up against the back wall and had to dash to the other wall. I easily won the race but did not leave myself enough room to stop before the wall. I reached my hands out in front and slammed into the wall. I felt an almighty crack in my hand and searing pain to accompany it. The X-ray showed 2 broken metacarpal bones and I was in plaster for 5 weeks which also meant I was off sick from work too. My boss was not happy. Fortunately I had a decent physio (Rachael Whiteside) who helped with my rehab so was back to full fitness quickly once the plaster had come off.’
Please read more about our treatment services and workplace physiotherapy service for further advice. You can make an appointment with one of our experienced physiotherapists at our UK Physiotherapy clinic based at MediaCityUK, Salford by calling 0161 713 3676 or emailing email@example.com.
The Sprained Ankle
Jenny Barker (mother of 1)
‘I wouldn’t class myself as an athlete in any sense. My daughter, though, had been nagging me for weeks leading up to the sports day to take part in the parents race. They split the parents into a mums race and dads race so at least I didn’t have to race against the men. The sports day was in the local park and although the sun was shining, there had been some showers earlier in the morning so the grass was wet under foot. My daughter had had a great time taking part in all the events but she was most excited about seeing me run.
‘Literally as soon as the head teacher shouted “Go” to start the race my left foot slipped and as I put my right foot out to regain my balance, it twisted and I fell in a heap on the ground with a sharp pain in my right ankle. The memory of what else happened is very vague, I just remember struggling to breathe because of the pain. The foot and ankle swelled over the next 2 hours and I couldn’t walk for the next 2 days. However, after accessing physio quickly, I was walking normally again within 3 weeks. I won’t be taking part in any more races again though!’
Please read more about our treatment services. We also now offer podiatry at our UK Physiotherapy clinic based onsite at MediaCityUK, Salford. Please contact us on 0161 713 3676 or email us firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
So everyone taking part in these events, please take care. Warm up properly, even if you might feel silly doing so. Remember your kids will still love you even if you don’t win so just enjoy taking part!