It’s sports day season and of course, who could forget the sporty summer we’re having. But, as Britain limbers up for the Olympic Games, elsewhere, new research into the timeless tradition of sports day has provided a glimpse into what UK mums’ fantasy school sports day would look like.
According to the research conducted by Egmont UK for the launch of their Mr. Men sports day books, if it was up to mums, their ultimate sports day would be a star-studded event with comedians, royalty and pop stars triumphing over medal winning athletes.
It seems that sporting prowess is no match for humour, as long-distance swimmer and actor comedian, David Walliams, is mums’ first choice for most desirable three-legged race celebrity partner, beating the world’s fastest man, Usain Bolt, to the top spot.
Walliams is closely followed in the poll by the sporty Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, The Voice UK’s Jessie J, and X-Factor judges past and present Cheryl Cole and Tulisa. All five were voted above England footballers with proven speed and agility, David Beckham and Wayne Rooney.
“Who’d have guessed that the nation’s fantasy school sports day would mirror the wonderful silliness of our new Mr. Men books?!"
The research, conducted to mark the launch of Mr. Men Sports Day and Mr. Men Sports Day Sticker Scene - the first ever sports themed books in the iconic Mr. Men series - also explored the worst possible three-legged race pairings.
Prime Minister David Cameron was voted as the person mums would least like to partner with. Hot on his heels are speed enthusiast Jeremy Clarkson and opinionated music mogul, Simon Cowell, despite being famed for his way with women.
When it came to the infamous mums’ race, logic seemed to prevail. Around one in five of those surveyed believed Olympic medallist and I’m a Celebrity participant Fatima Whitbread would be first across the finish line, closely followed by a photo finish between musician and presenter Myleene Klass, the Prime Minister’s wife Samantha Cameron, Strictly Come Dancing’s Tess Daly and former Spice Girl Emma Bunton. Lagging behind the fastest finishers would be Holly Willoughby, Elle McPherson and Beyonce.
Although the mums’ race tends to be fiercely competitive with many parents striving hard not to embarrass their offspring, this year mums are putting their competitive spirit to one side. Over a quarter of those surveyed stated that it’s the taking part that counts with a cheeky six per cent admitting they had encouraged their child to cheat at sports day.
David Riley, Managing Director for Egmont, publishers of the Mr. Men Sports Day book, said: “Who’d have guessed that the nation’s fantasy school sports day would mirror the wonderful silliness of our new Mr. Men books?!
“Nothing ever goes quite as it should in Nonsenseland and sports day is no different. I for one would love to see the Egg and Spoon race made an official sport!” he said.
Adam Hargreaves, writer and illustrator of the Mr. Men and Little Miss books said: “Sports days bring up such happy memories, and it’s about time the Mr. Men characters had an opportunity to exercise their competitive edge, or lack of it!
"Writing this story and creating another misadventure in Nonsenseland was so much fun. I hope boys and girls will enjoy it," he added.
Who would you choose for your fantasy sports day races? Let us know in the comments box below or tweet us @FemaleFirst_UK
Shabana Adam @Shabana_FAM