The crisp morning of August 12th resounded with cheers of encouragement as the students of Mundaring Christian College Primary School embarked on the first ever Bush Olympic Games.
In keeping with Mundaring’s strong environmental heritage, the Mundaring equivalents of the Olympic sports were all bush related events, creatively devised by the teachers.
The day commenced with an official opening ceremony, during which the Australian flag was raised in the traditional manner, and God was thanked for His provision of the College’s beautiful bush setting and the bright, sunny morning.
Each class then proceeded to rotate around the leafy school grounds, participating in events such as honkey nut and spoon races, stick javelin and bush long jump as well as rock shot put and a honkey nut obstacle course.
“Sustainability is a significant cross–curriculum priority,” said Mr Rod McNeill, Principal of Mundaring Christian College.
“With an abundance of nature on our door step, we can be intentional about integrating learning about the environment into each of the subject areas with the aim of equipping our students to inherently care for and protect the environment they have been entrusted with.”
The sports on offer weren’t the only unique part of these Olympics.
“The Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro are all about being the fastest, strongest and the best,” said organizer Mrs Antoinette Wilson, Primary Co-ordinator at Mundaring Christian College.
“We want our students to realise that everyone is different, everyone has different talents and that everyone is a winner in their own way.
“This is not about diminishing the concept of winning but about encouraging students to think about how they do things,” Mrs Wilson said.
Through the day, teachers were on the look out for students living the values of good sportsmanship, helping others and being kind.
The day concluded with a closing ceremony during which event winners (awarded with green ribbons) were applauded, the student who had exemplified the values were individually mentioned, and all of the athletes were bestowed a golden honkey nut. The Australian National anthem was sung prior to the flag being lowered.
“It is great to see the kids so excited about being in nature and enjoying their surroundings in such an interesting way,” said Mrs Lee Jenkins, mother of three students at the college.
Earlier this week, Year 6 students delivered a powerful message to the school: To participate and possibly win in their chosen sport, Olympic athletes need to be obedient to the rules governing their sport. In life too, success in anything is dependent on the ability to follow rules and stay in the game.