Using what you have
Making use of school and PTA resources means you can have a day that's cheap to run and cheap to attend. It's also likely to fit with the curriculum and help improve skills.
Run, swim and cycle: Three of the most popular sporty sponsorship events – a run, swim or cycle – can be held individually or grouped together for a triathlon event. A run (or walk) simply requires your school field, while a swim is ideal if you have a school pool, and pupils can bring in their bikes or scooters for a ride. Adapt the sponsorship according to the activity and age of your pupils, and consider opening the event up to families. Boost profits with refreshments stalls.
Football match: Recruit a team of mums and dads (and staff members, if they're willing) to represent each class or year. Charge players to enter the tournament and host pupil and parent matches at different times so they can all watch each other. Ask a PE teacher or a local sports coach to referee. Have stalls to keep people busy and active between games, such as penalty shoot-outs. Present medals and a trophy to the winners.
Family stoolball/rounders: You're likely to already have the equipment for a family game of stoolball or rounders. Get classes to compete against each other and provide footballs and frisbees for those who are waiting to play. Serve food and drink throughout the event.
Remember, it's not only the school's equipment that may be open to you but potentially that of other local organisations. If you have a nearby gym, could you use its rowing machine or static bike for a rowing or cycling challenge? Your local football club may have a speed-radar machine that means you can hold a powershot challenge where you measure the speed of a football being kicked into the goal. A nearby golf club may let you use its putting green for a competition. Ask your local Lions and Rotary clubs if they have anything you can borrow.
Holding events for the public rather than just the school community means more pockets to profit from – and wider awareness of your cause. Hold an event that's unusual or new to your area to pull people in who aren't associated with the school.
Colour run: These fun runs involving brightly coloured powder are hugely popular, but are often open to adults only, so you can fill a gap in your community with an event that allows children to enter too. The non-toxic powder washes away easily without staining clothes or the ground.
It's a knockout: This fun event is sure to attract lots of spectators as well as those taking part. Inflatables companies can adapt a package to suit your size and budget, and bring their own insurance, PA system, trophies and medals.
If you'd like external support in organising your event, you can work with companies to get resources or ask them to run the whole thing.
Sports for Schools: Athlete-led physical activity events inspire kids to participate in more sport while raising money for PE equipment. Children can obtain sponsorship to take part, and as part of the event they'll get to meet a top-level sportsperson. The money raised must be used to buy sports equipment, so it's a great way to link the fundraiser to the products being funded. Visit sportsforschools.org for more information.
Jump Rope for Heart: Five- to 13-year-olds can take part in the British Heart Foundation's Jump Rope for Heart skipping challenge. Sign up for free, and receive teaching resources and skipping ropes for your school, as well as access to the online hub. Any funds raised are then split 80:20 between the British Heart Foundation and your school. For more details, visit bhf.org.uk/how-you-can-help.
Outside the box
Not everyone enjoys team sports or sponsored events, but you can still encourage them to get active.
Treasure hunt: This is a great way to get people outdoors. Organise a treasure hunt around the school grounds or around the local area, giving families the chance to explore together. Create a map with clues and set children tasks to complete along the way. Award prizes to all those who complete the hunt and set up stalls and refreshments at the end.
Sporty talent show: A talent show lets you incorporate sports that don't necessarily lend themselves to an event. Martial arts, gymnastics and dance can all be demonstrated in a show to pupils and parents, with refreshments and a raffle to boost profits. As well as individual acts, see if any school or local clubs want to perform to inspire pupils.
Climbing wall: Bringing in unusual equipment means you can offer pupils a new experience, making memories while getting active at the same time. Equipment such as climbing walls can be hired and erected in your playground.
What might work in your local area?
- Running a successful event relies on getting people enthusiastic and involved. When it comes to sporty events, think about what gets people excited in your local area. If there's a popular local sports club, base an event around that sport and see if anyone from the club can come along for a demonstration.
- Do your surroundings lend themselves to an activity? You may be surrounded by signposted National Trust walking routes or national parks that allow cycling. If you're in a city, is there a local park where you can organise a run?
- Research nearby facilities. Roller-skating halls and ice rinks are a fun way to get people moving, or you could use a local swimming pool or trampolining club for a sponsored swim or bounce.