My worst parent - Sportsmanship was runner up

13th August 2010 at 01:00

It was supposed to be a light-hearted, fun event at the end of a sunny sports afternoon for the Year 3s. An assortment of parents, grandparents and toddlers had enjoyed themselves and as the day wound down, they were availing themselves of ice creams and soft drinks provided by the Year 6s.

I noticed that Mr Cane, Andrew's dad, had maintained a serious expression throughout. I also couldn't help noticing that he was dressed in tight Lycra shorts and state-of-the-art trainers. I hadn't put him down as an exercise fanatic. He seemed far too sensible.

The dads' race was the final one of the day. It was usually a good laugh and a silly finale. A motley selection of dads started to muster at the starting line where, only minutes earlier, their children had been struggling into sacks and balancing balls on wooden spoons.

Out of the corner of my eye, I saw him. Mr Cane was limbering up, doing a selection of star jumps, stretches and forward lunges. Surely he wasn't taking this seriously? He swaggered over to join the other dads and got himself ready. He seemed to be getting into the zone. He stared forward towards the finish line, clearly using mental imagery to aid his performance.

Mrs Strong blew her whistle. The dads were fast. Most were young and athletic. Towards the line, it was neck and neck between Mr Cane and Abigail Chandler's father when, suddenly, there was an incident.

Mr Chandler crashed down, wailing. Two of the other dads fell on top of him in a scrum of flailing limbs, as Mr Cane crossed the line and celebrated.

Nobody spoke out loud about the deliberate trip that had been witnessed by more than 50 parents. But the whispers ...

The writer is a primary teacher in Leeds. Send your worst parent stories to and you could earn #163;50 in MS vouchers.

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