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.'
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!'