While I am (still) delighted for Phoebe's triumph (see below), I am a bit against the whole voting-for-form-captain thing. I am all for winners and losers. After all, that's what a lot of life is about (and as writers, don't we know it!), and kids need to get used to it. I think the new custom of having neither winners nor losers at school sports days is ridiculous. Kids aren't stupid. They know when they can't run fast, jump high, or whatever. I was so bad at all sport at school that I was dispatched to a far corner of the sports field with two similarly untalented friends to - wait for this - throw the discus. How useful is that? (And what would Health and Safety say about three clumsy schoolgirls mucking about unsupervised with a potentially lethal weapon?) But I survived (pysically and emotionally), and learnt to make lovely daisy chains.
But form captains are different. If your fellows are voting, then it's a measure of how popular you are, and this matters far more to a child than the ability to leap over a pole. I remember with dread those Christmas post boxes we had in our classrooms - my grandchildren still have them - into which children posted cards to each other. I didn't care a hoot who had sent me a card; it was how many cards I received. They were like votes; a measure of poularity. One small grandson received just one card one year. I think he will remember that far longer than the fact that he wasn't picked for a team.
So while Phoebe deserves her success - she is a kind child; she notices when people are upset; she is sociable and chatty and fun - I can't help thinking of the child who longs to be form captain but who will never - perhaps merely through shyness - get that little badge to wear.