Docklands Primary host first-ever Athletics Day
As a school still in its infancy, Docklands Primary has ticked off many “firsts” since opening in early 2021.
And on Friday, August 12, another important milestone in the school’s history took place — its first-ever Athletics Day.
Held at Ron Barassi Snr Park in NewQuay, students from Grades 3 to 6 competed in traditional track and field events like the 100m sprint, high jump and discus, plus more fun-based activities like a sack race and a traditional staff versus student sprint for ultimate bragging rights.
Reflecting on “an absolutely fantastic day”, with the weather gods playing nicely, principal Adam Bright told Docklands News he was happy to steer clear of the final event.
“I just dobbed in all the other teachers to race,” he said.
“Our school captains ran off against some of our teachers — some of them almost tore a hammy trying to win.”
Successful students on the day have now been selected to represent Docklands Primary at an upcoming inter-school athletics meet on September 7 — the first time the school has sent an athletics team to the district competition.
Perhaps most pleasing aspect for Mr Bright was the community spirit in action on the day, underpinned by the help staff received from all corners of Docklands.
“We had a really great turnout from volunteers, particularly from parents within our community who came to support the event, which was really appreciated and meant it could run as well as it did,” he said.
“The athletics day was for Grades 3 to 6, but we had parents who had kids in the lower grades who came to volunteer even without their kids involved in the day, which meant the day went really well.”
The school also received a “significant contribution” from Lucas Real Estate that allowed it to purchase athletics equipment for the day, while Custom Couriers hauled heavy equipment both to and from the park that had been line-marked by the City of Melbourne.
Volunteers from Docklands Sports Club — which uses Ron Barassi Snr Park as its home ground — were also there to provide access to the pavilion throughout the day.
Mr Bright said the school’s sport program had come a long way in 18 months and would continue to build as the youngest pupils started to come through.
Restrictions due to COVID-19 in the school’s first-ever year had “really impacted” the program and meant competitions like the forthcoming district athletics could not be held.
“It’s developing, I’d say. Everything we’re trying to do is new,” Mr Bright said.
“Our school itself has a lot more young students than ‘senior’ primary [Grades 3 to 6]. We have 466 students and 240 of them are in Prep and Grade 1. So, we’re very bottom-heavy, and that’s meant that the top year levels where you really start ramping up the sports program, they’re very small cohorts. But it’s developing really nicely. Jayne, our PE teacher, is a gun and a really experienced teacher.”
Mr Bright said the school aimed to keep extracurricular activities within the local area and were starting to use Ron Barassi Snr Park more often.
“Our Grades 5 and 6s will go down there for their sport lessons. In preparation for athletics day, they were down there for several weeks practising all the events like discus and shot-put that we can’t really practice on the small footprint of our school,” he said.
“We’re really trying to keep all our events in the Docklands. Trying to develop community is a big priority for us and using the Docklands community for everything from sporting to who we get to print our merchandise and stuff like that.” •
Photography by Murray Enders.