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Re: Getting soaked in parkrun

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Posted by Toby on July 31, 2019 at 16:12:31

In Reply to: Re: Getting soaked in parkrun posted by wetchas on July 30, 2019 at 18:52:49:

I remember very well the TV programme “We Are The Champions” which ran from 1973 until 1995. The original main presenter was Ron Pickering who was described in one documentary I saw as “the PE teacher from hell”. He had in fact actually been a real PE teacher earlier in his life. Several primary schools competed in obstacle courses. The first half of the programme the games were all dry and took place on a sports field, with competitors wearing their full PE kits (different coloured T-shirts for each team - typically blue, red and yellow). The second half took place in a large indoor heated swimming pool. For this, the competitors changed into their swimming costumes but kept their coloured T-shirts on to identify the different teams.

The adult equivalent was “It’s A Knockout” which originally ran from 1966 until 1988. The main differences between the two programmes was that “We Are The Champions” was more like a school sports day and “It’s A Knockout” was more like a series of assault courses, and the teams in the adult version represented various towns across the UK.

“It’s A Knockout” had a lot of water based games, e.g. carrying buckets of water or attempting to cross an icy portable swimming pool while an opposing team tried to knock them in. The competitors kept their full kits on including socks and trainers and even in some instances their underwear.

I have viewed some old footage of “It's A Knockout” and the wearing of sports kits can be identified in a very specific period. The BBC wiped most of its tapes prior to 1976, so the episodes of most interest are between 1976 and 1979, and then that is only in the early local heats of the competition. By the time regional heats were being played, the competitors wore comedy costumes. After 1979, competitors were issued with dark blue nylon "Sprinter"-style shorts, so it was impossible to see what they were wearing underneath. Prior to 1979 they wore standard nylon PE shorts, which were often white, and these went transparent when water was involved.

Please message me if you would like to discuss more.

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