KARACHI: As Jennifer Lopez’s hit single On the Floor blared through the speakers, a dozen cheerleaders waved their pompoms in the air and showed off their dance moves.
On Thursday, students were running around wearing t-shirts representing their house – yellow for Iqbal House, blue for Jinnah House and red for Liaquat House. They received enthusiastic applause from the parents who had gathered at the Moin Khan Academy for the Foundation Public School’s junior section annual sports day.
As one of the most-awaited days for most students, there were 28 events lined up for the students while their parents thronged the stadium stands. An anxious Mehwish waved to her daughter who was participating in the sack and hula hoop race and jumped with joy when she came in second.
Meanwhile, out on the field, students who had finished their events were waiting for the prize distribution. Mishaal Kamran, a fourth grade student, who came first in the relay race, was over the moon as she won her fourth cup. “I am so happy,” she said. “I win every year.”
According to the principal of the junior section, Iram Khan, there were nearly 1,000 students present. “Children these days are really into sports,” she said while running towards a group of students to prepare them for the next race. “Can’t you feel the enthusiasm?”
Students from the third grade to the sixth grade participated in different races, the walk past and the PE display – even the parents ran as fast as they could. “My children were very excited,” said Fozia Mansoor. “They told me to wear joggers and participate in the parent race. Too bad, I didn’t win but I had fun.”
According to Haadiya, a cheerleader, they had been practicing for 10 days.
Cricketer Tanweer Ahmed and singer Najam Sheeraz were there as chief guests. Sheeraz said that he was quite interested in sports, especially cricket. He asked the students to stay away from drugs and smoking. He also sang a song for them.
Iqbal House emerged victorious with the house trophy. Sameer Anwar and Aleena Adnan got the award for best athletes. 11-year-old Anwar had three cups in his hand and said that he was proud to be the athlete of the year. “This means a lot to me,” he said. “I will go out and celebrate with my parents.” He added that he did not practice much for the race, but had always been good at football, cricket and racing.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 28th, 2012.