‘Real’ athletics, inspiring girls and pizza

I took my nearly seven-year-old daughter to see some ‘real’ athletics yesterday. It was part pre-birthday treat, part distraction from the fact her sister was going to a party and she wasn’t invited and part because our running club had negotiated reduced price tickets. And I also wanted to inspire her.

I run for a lot of reasons, but one of them is because I have two daughters and I want them to see that girls can take part in sports, get sweaty, take on challenges and be fit and healthy. I want them to know that it’s not about diets and weight but about eating more healthy foods than sweets and keeping active doing the things they enjoy. I imagine this will get more challenging for me as they get older and are influenced more by peers and the media than me, but I’m hoping to sow a seed early on.

It was a lovely sunny day and we had the opportunity to see some great athletes, including future stars and more well-known names and medal-winners from British athletics. I was in awe of the 100m women’s races – those women were so fast and powerful – and the 4 x 100m relays were amazing to watch. The steeplechase also made a lasting impression as you could clearly see the effort and determination on the athletes’ faces, particularly as they approached the last lap.

So what did my daughter think of the day? She told me it was a better birthday treat than having a party.  There was, however, brief disappointment when I had to explain there would be no gymnastics at the stadium.

In her words: “It was a bit boring after a while as people were just running around the track… but clapping the high jump was great, I liked the hurdles and the pizza we shared for lunch!” So it sort of inspired her – and the pizza was pretty tasty and freshly made!

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