RUN LILI RUN!

As luck would have it we attended another sports festival today - it is the season. It has been pretty wet here for a couple of days so this event was moved indoors to the big nice gymnasium at Mimasaka University.

Taeka-San's grandson Aito - who is three - was participating in his first ever sports festival and we all turned out en masse to cheer him on. 

When I made the previous blog about the Kamo Sports festival Lili commented on the image where the little boy was making announcements and said 'I could never do that'. I was a little surprised by that because Lili is generally pretty confident - however if she were to feel intimidated about speaking into a microphone in front of a crowd that's fine. Many people probably would.

Today, however we were all waiting for the audience participation part and when it came along we piled onto the gym floor to go and do whatever it would be - a dance, or hobble race or whatever. A bit of lining, waiting and confusion ensued but no worries we were ready to do whatever was on the program. 

Or not. It slowly unfolded that the participation bit was limited to one person per child and the places went by pre-registration. I decided to go and sit down and let the kids have a go at it, since we had one spot on Aito's team (Pink Team called 'Sakura'). I suggested Lili could do it with Kisara (Aito's really nice cousin). 

Well, I was back sitting down ready to take some pictures when Taeka-San came to me and said I was needed to interpret. The participation piece was revealed as a laundry themed relay run and Lili was calmly sitting at the rear of the team with a pink sash on - she had been made the anchor of the team. It is of course futile to add at this point that she was the only kid running and the only non-Japanese person on the floor. She thought nothing of this.

We just had to clarify that the rules were: the runner has to wear a laundy apron (it looked suitably goofy with a big pink ribbon), then once the official has put the apron on you from the previous runner, run like the dickens across the gym, stop at the cardboard box, pick an item of clothing from said box, hang it on clothes line at end of gym then run back as fast as you can.

Waiting for the previous runner to arrive

Waiting for the previous runner to arrive

... and she is off! 

... and she is off! 

The lady with the green pants is one round behind.

The lady with the green pants is one round behind.

...and bringing it home. 

...and bringing it home. 

Now it has to be said that the 10-15 people who ran ahead of her must have done a pretty decent job of it since she got out probably second of the anchors. But Lili loves to run, and run she did with her long legs, goofy apron and all. And she brought the Sakuras in as winners!

The team was announced as first and a strong 'Banzai!' raised three times. 

Then we were all back to admiring Aito and his adorable buddies scurrying around the gym in their very cool uniforms. 

I am closing with a couple of fan club shots of Aito and the little champ himself with his participation medal. 

Ringside cheering. 

Ringside cheering. 

 

Aito proudly showing his medal. 

Aito proudly showing his medal. 

Aito and his fans: back row Jai, Taeko, Dante, front Saiuri, Yoshiko, Kisara. 

Aito and his fans: back row Jai, Taeko, Dante, front Saiuri, Yoshiko, Kisara.