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Garden Olympics

A ‘Stay at Home’ Sports Day

The 2020 Tokyo Olympic & Paralympic Games have officially fallen foul of the current COVID-19 pandemic, removing yet another major event from the sporting calendar. Perhaps the Olympic spirit will have to live on in your own back yard?

With school sports day events also being cancelled, we’ve decided to put together a little guide to hosting a DIY Olympics at home with the kids this summer.

So, grab your running shoes and get ready for some competitive fun…

Picture of mother and child working out on concrete

Set up

The main thing you’ll need is some open space. A lawn, patio or driveway is ideal but it’s fine to head down to your local park too, as long as you keep your distance from others.

Some bits and pieces that’ll come in handy:

  • Rope, string, duct tape or chalk - to mark lines
  • An old newspaper
  • Sticky tape, glue
  • Tennis ball (or similar)
  • Frisbee or plastic plate
  • Tape measure
  • PDF scoreboard (link)
  • PDF cut-out medals (link)
  • Lots of energy!

Opening Ceremony

Add some razzmatazz and authenticity to the occasion with your very own opening ceremony. We’re thinking flags, lights, fancy costumes, and of course, an Olympic torch (not a real one, obviously). Get creative and have fun before the games even begin!

Track & Field

Track & field sports are the highlight of any Olympic Games. Here are 5 events to recreate at home:

20m Sprint

Simply measure out the distance and mark out your start / finish lines. If your garden isn’t quite big enough, perhaps do a couple of lengths instead. Alternatively, find some space near your home – this could be the pavement outside your house or a local park. To add a bit more fun, you can hold up a finish line ribbon to run through in celebration.

Stopwatch at the ready… GO!

Long Jump

Again, an extra bit of space may be required for this one – depending on how long their run up is!

Mark out a line to jump from and measure the distance to the landing spot – 3 attempts each to get the best distance.

Shot Put

Mark a throw line out on the ground, grab a tennis ball (or something similar), and get ready to hurl it as far as possible. Distance is to be measured from the first bounce, take the best result from 3 attempts.

Javelin

Start off by making a paper javelin using some sheets of newspaper and sticky tape – a how-to video can be found here.

Once you’re kitted out, take 3 throws each, measuring the distance from your throw line to the tail section of the javelin.

Discus

Frisbees are perfect for this, but an old plastic plate will do the trick too. Spin around on the spot before throwing to make things a little more challenging! Measure the distance from where the discus first hits the ground – take 3 attempts and record the best distance.

Download Scoreboard

Medal Ceremony

The best bit of any sports day is the medal ceremony. Why not set up a podium and create your own medals (link)? You can even play the national anthem and raise some flags if you’re feeling patriotic.

a bronze medal

Download Medals

Capture the Fun

We’d love to see your slo-mo videos and podium poses, so pick up the camera and snap the action. Get sharing via our social channels or post a comment below to let us know how your sports day went.

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Cameron is a young(ish) family man finding whatever time he can to read, write and kick a football around. His weekends involve getting the kids out in the Cheshire countryside for adventures, increasingly involving tents! Photography is the newest of his hobbies – documenting days out and doing his best to capture wildlife on film. Follow his blogs here for a candid view of family fun in the great outdoors.

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