| June 5, 2018

Coolers are often a necessity when hunting a game or exploring the great outdoors. But it’s not rocket science to use that quality ice box for something completely “unadventurous”. We’re talking a different kind of game. We’re talking midseason of the NFL-kind of game. We’re talking your kids’ swim meet-kind of game – and we’re here to get your prim and well-prepared spectator game on. Here are 4 things you need in a sideline cooler for a sport event.

1. First-aid kit.

You want to get one checked before any match or practice your kid is participating ever. There may be a first-aid kit somewhere on the side of the field or by an umpire chair but don’t count on the prospect. Your cooler essentials include store pain muscle relief cream or spray, band-aids, and an ice pack (or a bag of frozen baby carrots, if you want a snack out of it). Wipes and towelettes can be a good idea, too.

Of course, you can apply this to when you go to a major league game and some discontent supporters start a hooligan brawl. Not that we entertain the possibility.

2. Drinks and snacks.

You know how drinks and snacks are usually overcharged at a match? Bringing your own nosh will be the way to economise during one of our hard times, personal or collective. Some sports clubs encourage fans to BYOF (Bring Your Own Food) to their ballparks. Some don’t, but you’ll get to save money anyways, chatting about your win (or loss) to your buddies outside while downing a beer (which is conveniently both a victory and a consolation drink).

Parents are almost always encouraged to bring their own drinks and refreshments to the sideline simply because the team and school don’t provide them. Plus, you can make sure your family have a healthy snack break that’s also attuned to your food intolerances, if any.

3. Sports and team gear.

We don’t mean that they need chilling but, for parents, having extra gears that your kid will likely forget – like swim goggles, caps, or knee and shin guards – will come in handy.

For those heading to a big league game, once you get all the essentials in #1 and #2 nailed down, the remaining room is for the love for your team: got a Cubs throw? A red Sox beanie? Seahawks bottle holders? Put them in there.

4. Sportsmanship.

Not literally pack it in a cooler, of course. Good sportsmanship comes in all shapes and sizes of your extra drinks and munchies. After you’ve made a victory toast (provided your team wins, that is), offer members of the opposing team a pop as a small but warm gesture.

The same goes for your young one’s level. Have them offer their teammates and “rivals” crackers and juice boxes — a little something after a good game. Remember when runner Abbey D’Agostino helped Nikki Hamblin up her feet after she tripped at this year’s Rio Olympics? Yep, translate that into your family’s everyday situation and your kid might just learn one of the most important things in life. Winning isn’t what the game is really about, after all.

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