Teacher and children at sports day

PTAs playing a part at sports day

From bacon baps for breakfast to running your summer fair at the end of the races, how do PTAs get involved with school sports day?

Between being a parent and supporting fellow committee members, fundraising on sports day is all about balance. Drawing up a rota with half-hour slots is a great way to ensure everyone does their bit and is still able to watch their child compete.

Show that you're there to provide a service - after all, sports day often involves more waiting around than we'd like, and a warm cup of tea on a cold day, or an ice-cold lemonade on a hot one, can certainly go a long way!

Sports day stalls

Mel Bennett, PTA Vice-Chair, Landulph Primary School, Saltash, Cornwall (70 pupils): 'Our event was organised in a few weeks before sports day. Families were invited to enjoy a picnic with their children before the races started. We had a cake stall, tea, coffee and made our own non-alcoholic punch! We also sold punnets of locally-grown cherries. The bottle and chocolate tombolas were a hit and all the prizes came to us in exchange for a mufti day held earlier that term. The children had designed tea towels, which worked as great little keepsakes and made a profit of £200. We also held a raffle with prizes donated by parents and local businesses. We made a profit of £594, but more importantly, everyone walked away with fond, happy memories.'

Summer fair

Kirsty Williams, PTA Chair, Fawkham Primary School, Longfield, Kent (106 pupils): 'For the last four years we have combined the school's annual sports day with our summer fair. We send letters home in book bags, put special notices in ParentMail newsletters, and create posters and banners. We ran craft, food and games stalls for the children, and our local butcher offered us 100 burgers and 70 sausages for under £40. We also hired a bouncy castle assault course for £120. Our large school field offered plenty of room for both the fair and sports day activities. Families could enjoy lunch from the BBQ while watching their children participate in races. Other stalls opened at 3pm after the final race had finished. We also held an adults-versus-children football match, assembling two teams by asking parents, teachers and the school's football team to take part. This meant many of the parents stayed longer and spent more money on food and stalls. The match ended with a 3-3 draw. Every year the event is made a little bigger and last year we raised £910!'

Strawberries and cream

Liz Mounfield, St Julian's Primary School, Newport, South Wales (600 pupils): 'At sports day last year, our PTA sold strawberries with squirty cream, sliced melon and grapes, and refreshing cold drinks. These were very popular and we sold out surprisingly quickly! We set up the refreshments on a tabletop decorated with bunting, and served the fruit in simple plastic cups. Next year, we'll certainly organise this in advance to reduce costs - we only made a £65 because the idea was so last minute. Now we've got the ball rolling we hope to exceed this amount next year!'

The Big Breakfast

Julie-Anne Clark, PTA Chair, Clifton All Saints Academy, Clifton, Bedfordshire (147 pupils): 'With sports day coming up, we decided to run a big breakfast event to fundraise. We offered cereal, croissants and pain au chocolat for 50p; bacon rolls for £2; juice and milk for 20p a glass; and refillable tea or coffee for £1. We started serving at 8am, set up tables and chairs outside since it was a beautiful day, and ran a self-service system. The children went into school for registration at 9am, but we continued selling to adults until 9:30am, at which point we had pretty much sold out. We made £250 at our last sports day breakfast!'

Lisa Gillespie asks: 'What food and drinks do other schools serve on sports day?'

Jo Molloy: 'We have served bacon and sausage baps in the morning for breakfast. Burgers and sausages at lunchtime. We offer tea, coffee and cold drinks all day, and parents are invited to picnic with their children at lunchtime. We also sell ice lollies at lunchtime we can struggle getting enough parent helpers, but their are some staff that will do a 15 min lunch stint for us on a rota. We raise on average £700.' (570 pupils)

Vanessa Sherwood: 'Last year we sold tea, coffee, squash and donated cakes and took nearly £300!' (170 pupils)

Tammy Eeley: 'Not sure how it will work this year because of the free school lunches but last year the parents could bring a picnic lunch to have with their kids. The PTA then served strawberries and cream but also served cakes, hot drinks, cold drinks and ran a small raffle. This raised approx. £250!'

Ali Bolton: 'We ran a refreshment stall at our Sports day last summer and struggled to man that as people wanted to watch their children.'

Friends of Holbrook PTA: 'We sell bacon and/or egg rolls first thing when children go into class, then serve drinks all day and run a BBQ and sell ice creams at lunchtime. We typically raise around £350-£400.' (220 pupils)

Viki Briggs: 'Last year we sold bacon rolls and cold drinks at our sports day/open morning. We also had a small raffle and made over £650!'

Sharlene Taylor asks: 'Has anyone run their summer fair on the same day as sports day? How did it work and was it more or less successful than a weekend fair?'

Fiona Baldwin: 'We have our summer fair on the same day as sports day, it works really well for us as most families attend. We run plenty of stalls and get lots of help from parents who aren't part of out pta team & the teachers play a bigger part too.'

Lynsey Stokes: 'We haven't done a summer fair after sports day but have held a BBQ with a bar, bouncy castle and a few other little stalls. It was very popular.'

Andy Marczak: 'I know another school where this works, but only because the field for the fete is different to the field for sports day. Logistically it can only really work for a small school, or a large committee, as you might struggle to set up if people are watching sports day.'

Sam Goodall: 'We run a refreshments and ice cream stall at Sports day which is a good earner, but I wouldn't do our fayre on the same day. People don't stop for long after the sports day and we wouldn't get the rest of the villagers attending who always turn out on a Saturday. How about a few stalls - drinks/food etc but keep the fayre to a Saturday?'

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