On Friday, May 26th, the students at Itabashi Senior High School held their annual Sports Festival. This was my third time witnessing this festival, but it was the first time I’ve been able to witness all grade levels participating together. The senior students did a great job at organizing the event and incorporating all the students together in a fun and energetic day of sports and other activities.
The festival began with the traditional opening ceremony, followed by a group stretch led by students and teachers alike. The students were all dressed in their respective class colors and t-shirts personally designed by several students per homeroom. It was especially interesting to me to see so many English words and phrases used as inspiration in the design of the class shirts. Many of the shirts also included a list of the students’ names to show the friendship and camaraderie between students in each homeroom.
One aspect of the festival that really stood out to me was how much of it was organized by the students themselves. This seems to be a common practice in Japanese schools, where the club activities and sports are also organized and led by the students more than the teachers in some situations. I think this shows a level of respect for students by the teachers and administration, as well as a level of respect for each other by making sure each student is having a good time during the events. This will help foster other good habits that will lead to the betterment of society overall.
Some of the events included the 100 meter dash, a tug-of-war competition, various types of races, and even a relay race that included some of the teachers, which really excited the students. It reminded me of the Sports Festivals my high school in New York held, where many students and teachers competed head to head in various competitions. This can help build strong relationships that can help encourage the students inside the classroom, as well as outside of it. I think my favorite event overall was the club activity relay – where various sports teams raced against each other to see which club was the fastest. To no one’s surprise, the track team won handedly while the other sports were in a fierce battle for second place, which was taken by the baseball team.
At the end of the day, the festival was won by the blue and yellow team, which was made up of the seventh homeroom class of years one through three, as well as the eighth first-year homeroom class. But that did not mean the other classes despaired. Instead, they showed admirable sportsmanship and support for the victorious class and simply vowed to perform even better next year.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed spectating the events during this year’s Sports Festival, and I look forward to what the students come up with for next year’s festival!