Marie Louise McConville: I want to protect my kids from sports day disappointment

Ready, steady, cry - the pain of school sports day
Marie Louise McConville

I remember a friend once relaying a parenting quote to me.

It was a few years ago when I was having a bit of a down day and it felt like I wasn't doing too good at this parenting gig.

Another child had been pretty mean to one of my kids and upset them and I was so angry and wanted to do something about it.

My calming friend explained to me that how I was feeling was perfectly natural, before telling me: "There is no greater warrior than a mother".

And it's true.

This week, I found myself thinking about that saying when I attended my first ever school sports day.

Despite having children in both P2 and P3, because of the pandemic I have never be able to attend a sports day in person.

There had been a whole lot of excitement in the McConville household in the lead up to the event but arriving at the school this week, I found myself realising that maybe being at it, in person, was not the best idea.

As the kids competed in an array of events, I realised a school sports day can be pretty much cut-throat.

In years gone by, I've simply picked the kids up from school and they have told me their stories about sports day and if there were medals, that was a plus.

But watching my six and seven-year-old children compete was a simply horrible experience.

Seeing the disappointment on their little faces just about broke me.

Watching them give their all, and their excitement turning to sadness, was just awful and more than once, I wanted to run on to the field and cuddle them.

As a child, I remember dreading sports day because I was simply no good at sport.

I don't remember ever winning a single medal and it just left me feeling so miserable.

That said, it was nowhere near how I felt watching my kids give it their all and not winning - although we did get a third place in one event.

Of course, when you overhear another mother talk about how she braided her daughter's hair a special way so that the beanbag would stay put and how she put extra strong hair gel in her son's hair to do the same, I felt the mother warrior in me come out.

What I thought would be a day of fun turned out to be anything but.

I hated it and while I know kids should learn about losing, I don't want them to.

But as I write this, I can hear the screams of delight from the trampoline in the garden so I know no permanent damage has been done.

I just want to protect them from all the pain and heartbreak in the world - is that so wrong?

I think I'll start by banning all beanbags and eggs and spoons - who knew they could be so vicious?


Australian actress Rebel Wilson has come as gay at the age of 42.

The Pitch Perfect star, who has been looking fantastic recently after she lost more than 75lbs, introduced the world to her girlfriend, Romana Agruma, on Instagram.

Beside a photograph of the two women looking very happy, Rebel wrote: "I thought I was searching for a Disney Princeā€¦ but maybe what I really needed all this time was a Disney Princess. #loveislove".

The announcement comes after the couple had been spotted together in recent months including at the Vanity Fair Oscars party in March.

Wishing Rebel every happiness for her future.


Ten women from across Ireland have found a starring role in the latest ad campaign for local luxury tan and cosmetics brand, Bellamianta.

The `Being You is Beautiful' campaign aims to showcase fabulous females of all ages, sizes and walks of life as part of Bellamianta's mission to put diversity and inclusion at the forefront of today's beauty industry.

Among those starring in the campaign is Irene McKee (73), a semi-retired nurse from Cookstown and Collette MacNamee (63), from Pomeroy, a cancer survivor, who is the mother of Bellamianta founder, Linda Stinson.

There's also Megan McNeill (21), from Lisburn, who has Crohn's disease and 29-year-old Jane Reid from Co Meath who has had alopecia for 25 years.

The women featured in the campaign are helping Bellamianta launch its new and improved luxury formulas where skincare meets tanning.

Bellamianta are proud to be cruelty free, vegan and PETA approved, as well as safe for use during pregnancy.

What a great campaign and the ladies look fantastic.

Well done to all involved.


The winners of The Cornish Captive competition are Angela Curran, from Tempo, Enniskillen, David McMullan, from Cranagh, Co Tyrone, and Margaret Reid, from Belfast

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