It was a cold and stormy night (as the old line goes) and the following morning was not the best either as the remains of a stubborn northeasterly system lingered across the Bay this week.

You know when it's a tad cool and damp because the cycle lanes which have emerged in great numbers are generally devoid of the people and devices they were built to accommodate.

And those walking the footpaths have the hoods of their coats up or wield a brollie.

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One of those days to get from A to whatever destination B may be as quickly as possible.

And, I daresay, for many they are the sort of days when it is quite simply best to stay indoors if there is no urgent reason to go out.

So I was delighted (while sheltering behind a rain-defying windscreen) to see three groups of youngsters turning their backs (literally) to the light but chilling drizzle coming down.

It was about an hour before they would have been called to their classroom desks and there they were, along with a devoted teacher/coach, practising for what I daresay were their Saturday challenges.

One group at one school was going through the netball hoops and the other two groups at the other schools were skilling up on hockey.

They were primary and intermediate aged and were clearly prepared and focused, in their light jackets and shorts.

I felt a chill just glancing at them.

But the weather was clearly of no consequence as they focused on a slalom course to propel the hockey balls through, and in the case of the netballers listen intently to the advice of the coach.

They were scenes I daresay were being played out at many other schools, and likely were repeated at the other end of the day after the books were stored away.

We have young granddaughters who are now on the playing path and they are sparked by sport's camaraderie and competition.

It is great to see the youngsters engaged in sport across the whole landscape, and great to see them smilingly defy the only mother who tries to get in their way ... Mother Nature.