Posted: June 26th, 2021

Team Sport

His stomach was like a helicopter, churning around nervously. The palms of his hands were shaking in an irritable manner and in all truthfulness; he probably had the right to be so nervous. The period that was next was the one he had been dreading all morning. It was the first lesson of his new school and it was sport! He heard the last bell for class and painfully sauntered into the roomy school gym.
‘God’ he thought, ‘I hate team sports.’ He remembered at his old school how, nerve-racking it felt to be picked last! He thought that now it would be even worse being the new kid.
About fifty, different sized boys were standing in a restless random fashion. Some were shouting, trying to prove their side in an argument, others were wrestling each other on the rugged, aged gym floor. One group was sitting quietly, contemplating some math theory they developed, but most of the boys were making clamorous, heavy noises. Obviously, the teacher was not present.

As he walked in most of the boys’ attentions were changed to him. Some of the more insecure boys snickered and laughed savagely at him, pulling faces. Others were surprised, because they had never seen him before. He was obviously new. He stood there tensely, playing with his untidy, white-blond hair. He was attempting to act as if he wasn’t the centre of attention, and that he wasn’t at all nervous and sensitive. It wasn’t really working out, because about fifty boys’ eyes glued to him like couch potatoes watching television, watching his every movement.
He was in luck though, because the broad, glass double-door of the gym swung open. Every boy looked at the person who entered the gym. When they realised that it was the teacher, they started to groan. They didn’t want another lengthy, tiresome school year to start. But, some of their faces were excited at having such a teacher that was so young, that she was straight out of uni. She wasn’t bad looking either, in their opinions. Also, usually the young teachers could not control the class, so they could have some fun in sport. Or so they thought…
“Good-morning boys.” She greeted briskly, in a hight-pitched, tight voice, “My name is Ms. Hart, and I am your new P.E. teacher for your entire middle school. So, not only am I teaching you guys, but I am also teaching the lower grades of seven to nine. I will make sure that every one will be fit, happy and healthy by the time the year is over.”
‘Happy?’ doubted the new boy, ‘that’s not a word in my vocabulary.’ He shuddered; remembering the times that the guys at his old school had made fun of his white-blonde hair, calling it ‘granny hair’.
“I have one more thing to say before we get started into a game of basketball. Who are the new boys this year?”
The new kid raised his long hand feebly, along with two others. Miss Hart observed them closely. She finally spoke.
“What are your names?” she inquired enthusiastically.
“Eric Jacobs.” The blond kid answered.
“Martin Gregory.”
“Michael Tran.” The other boys said.
The young teacher hesitated for a couple of seconds before grouping them up into groups. Eric was put into a group of boys that were from an Italian background. He walked towards them. They stared hesitantly back at him. One smiled and said confidently,
“Hey Eric, pleased to meet you. Ready to kick but on the basketball court?
“Sure, why not.” Eric said self-consciously. ‘Maybe this new school was ok.’ He thought. ‘Maybe he would finally get a chance to fit in.’

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