This weeks session at Epping Forest Sportability was all about Cricket
After a warm up of stretching and the kids favourite tag game - What's the time Mr. Wolf? - it was on to the main sport. They started with some throwing and catching, mainly in pairs. Then it was on to a game of Champions. The kids line up in a row facing Ray in the middle. Ray then throws the tennis ball randomly to the kids in the line. If they catch it they move up the row. If they drop it or fail to catch it then they move down. The kid at the top of the line at the end of the game is the champion. You have to be on your guard though if you are at the top of the line because one dropped catch and you lose your turn and you might not get a chance to get back before the end of the game.
Next it was on to a relay game that involved running around cones but was too complicated for Alan to explain to me but he said it was good! Honest!
Then it was on to some bowling practice. The kids threw underarm at the stumps at the end of the hall. Then it was on to some batting practice, hitting the ball off a tee towards a target which was between two cones.
After a well deserved break for a drink and snack, the kids put all the things they had practiced to use in a game of three tee cricket. So bowling, batting, catching and throwing. The batter has to hit three balls off of three tees. Once that is done they have to get as many runs as possible between two wickets before the rest of the gang get the three balls and tees back in position. As soon as the last ball is back on the last tee the batter has to stop running and a note is made of the number of runs scored. The kids take it in turn to bat and the one with the most runs at the end is the winner.. It is fast and frenetic with people running everywhere but a whole lot of fun!
The session rounded off with a fast paced game of Benchball. i.e. more shouting, running, catching, teamwork and excitement!
Last Saturday's session concentrated on Hockey.
We had a great turn out of members, staff and volunteers so a busy session all ways round.
We started with a warm up as always and looking by the photos that was some games of tag.
Then it was out with the plastic hockey sticks, tennis balls and cones for skills practice. They started with a ball each and just practicing moving around the hall keeping control of their ball. That soon moved on to dribbling up and down the hall using the cones to create obstacles to go around.
The last skill practiced was shooting - goals were fashioned using cones and the benches. The kids then had to zig-zag around the coloured cones before stopping at a line and shooting for their goal. As we had three lanes of cones we divided up the bench in to three goals as you can see in the photos.
We then went on to some games starting with one versus one games where the coaches picked players of similar age and ability to go up against each other. They had to run up from one end of the hall to the other, around a cone at the end, pick up their sticks and then try and score first.
After a well deserved break, for drinks and a snack, the kids opted to play a game of Bench Hockey. This is where two sides line up against each other putting their hockey sticks between the benches. Both teams try to get the ball from their left, along the pitch and score in a goal to their right. As you can see in the photos below it was yellow team versus the reds. So that Umar could also be involved we added a goal keeper at each end to make scoring that bit harder. Callum was the obvious choice to be goalie at the opposite end to Umar as he lives in a pair of Goalkeeping gloves!.
We just fitted in a short game of "normal" hockey before time got the best of us and it was one o'clock and time to go home. Before we did the coaches awarded the Star of the Week award to Liam for all his efforts throughout the session. Well done Liam!
Whilst all the adults sat down for a chat to talk all things Sportability as part of the Annual General Meeting, the kids enjoyed a session of Basketball. I am not sure if was intentional to coincide the session with the start of the new NBA season but perhaps we have the next big star in our midst. Ray and Ollie led the session as Alan was busy in the meeting. They started with a warm up as usual before starting a series of drills practising ball control with the basketball.
As you can see in the photos above this included dribbling the ball across the court; working in pairs, moving the ball around the waist to your partner and then passing over the head and between the legs. All of this is designed to help improve ball control and flexibility.
Next up were some dribbling races up and down the hall around the cones. This meant bouncing the ball on the move keeping good control balancing speed with ball handling. Then to make it harder they introduced some of the ball control routines mid-race by making the kids stop at the far end and move the ball around their waste before carrying on.
After a break it was on to the fun part - shooting. The kids took it in turn to take shots and as the photos below show there is some great shooting and fantastic accuracy.
The session ended by putting all the things they had practiced together in a final game.
This week's session started with Alan and Ollie leading some warm up games including a traffic light game. It was quite sunny out so making use of the playground while we can it was jogging around on a green light, stop on a red light and a series of warm up exercises when the light was amber. These ranged from star jumps to moving side to side.
We were pleased to welcome a new volunteer to the team this week in Phoebe, who is a student at Davenant school and is doing her Duke of Edinburgh Bronze award. She will be volunteering with us for a while and her assistance is most welcome.
With the main sport of Handball in mind, Alan and the team split the group in to pairs or threes and with a ball per group got them throwing the ball to each other. They varied between underarm throws and over the head. If throwing with the ball in both hands above the head then it would be a bounce pass with the ball bouncing mid-way between thrower and catcher. These exercises were aimed at honing the members throwing and catching skills.
Next up was some targeted throwing with the kids aiming to knock a tennis ball off a cone. The cone was placed midway between the two players with a tennis ball on top. Using the big soft balls the players then had to throw their ball down with the aim of hitting the tennis ball on the cone. The kids did really well with tennis balls flying off in all directions!
Alan then moved on to a Handball shooting routine. Cones were laid out to form three lanes with a goal by the fence at the end of each. We had three volunteer goalkeepers in Umar, Kerrie and Callum. The rest formed three queues to take it in turns to bounce the ball up the course before stopping at a set point and by doing a bounce pass trying to shoot past the keeper in to the goal
The fun then moved indoors for some quick games of handball. The group split in to three teams and we used benches for goals. The kids then used the skills they had practised to do bounce passes to each other and to move the ball up the pitch before shooting for the goal. Even Umar got in on the action using his wheelchair. He is fast and impossible to tackle and Alan helped him shoot the ball at the goal.
After a break for snacks and refreshments we finished off the session with some games of Boccia and then some putting. The putting game involved hitting off of little markers and aiming to hit little cones. If you hit the cone you kept it. The game was over when all the cones had been hit and the person with the most cones was declared the winner
As the weather took a turn for the worse this Saturday we made full use of Oak View School's facilities by playing badminton in the school hall.
We started as always with a warm up led by Ray. As you can see below this started with some stretching exercises followed by some games of tag, finishing off with a game of "Who's afraid of Mister Wolf?".
With the badminton we started with the members getting used to hitting a shuttlecock up in the air and trying to keep that going for as long as possible. We then moved on to hitting across the nets to a partner on the other side. There were some great rallies and the kids showed a high level of skill.
After the break Ray led the group in some games based around basic ball handling. The kids formed a circle and Ray led the gang in a series of activities in what proved to be a chilled and relaxed but fun part of the session
To finish the session Ray got the Parachute out of the store room and the gang each grabbed one of the handles. They started off by trying to raise and drop the parachute in unison and then to get a good wave motion going. Some of the little ones couldn't resist getting underneath it as it rose and fell. To finish off a ball was thrown on to the parachute with the idea being to move the ball around from side to side without the ball falling off the side. it made for a fun end to the session with lots of laughter and excitement.
Last Saturday's session was dedicated to all things football with a whole range of activities to help boost skill levels and ball control. After the usual warm up led by Ray and Alan it was out with the balls, in the sun, on the playground.
At the end of the session the coaches conferred over who should receive the Star of the Week award. For his enthusiasm and getting involved, not least his big smile throughout, they awarded it to Umar. It has to be said that his ball control was exemplary in that once the ball was on his feet in his wheelchair it stuck there like glue!
Congrats to Umar - keep it up!
Join us again this coming Saturday to see what activities the team have in store for you!
Unfortunately I was away so cannot add much detail to all the photos below but I will try and summarize the session as best I can. We had a good turnout, up slightly from the first two week, which looks to have made for a really good day
As always the session started with a warm up and Ollie led a game of tag
Then it was out with the Rugby balls. First up was throwing in the air and catching to get used to the egg shaped ball. Then it was on to pairs work throwing and catching to your partner.
After a break it was time for a tag game called Hunter. We had two games running side by side and in each there is a hunter and the player they are hunting. The "huntee" runs off on the whistle to collect a ball from the hoop at the far end and get back without being captured. The hunter meanwhile has to run a longer route with the sole aim of tagging the player with the ball before they get home. It is fast, furious and fun!
Towards the end of the session a couple of the younger ones spent some time in Oak View School's ball pool to have fun and let off a little steam. It was one of these, Joseph, who was awarded the Star of the Week accolade at the end of the session. Very well done Joseph!
We look forward to welcoming you all again this coming Saturday at 10:00 where we will be no doubt playing a completely different sport. Also, if you know of anyone else who would benefit from joining in with our activities then please pass on the word and tell them to come along and find out for themselves!
See you on Saturday!
The photos below depict a number of skills practices that the coaches went through with the kids. Starting with basic ball control and dribbling, to working in pairs doing bounce passes. After that the coaches laid out some cones so the kids could start dribbling around them going up and down the playground. Last of all they added some hoops to the course so that the kids stopped at a cone and then had to throw the ball with the aim that it bounced inside the hoop.
It was great to see a lot of familiar faces back for the start of the Autumn term all refreshed and raring to go.
From there we moved on to bench hockey where the group split in to two teams and each team sits behind a bench with their sticks poking through the gaps, facing the other team. Each team is aiming to get the ball in to the goal at the end to their right. So in effect the teams are going in opposite directions much like a normal hockey match. It is all about team work, getting the ball from the person defending the team goal along the row to the attacker who can shoot.
The session ended with a game of Benchball, using the benches once more. The game starts with one member of each team standing on the far bench. The rest then have to pass the ball up the pitch and after at least three passes, without the ball hitting the floor, they can try and pass to the team member on the bench. If it is caught then the person throwing the ball joins them on the bench. If not, then play passes over to the other team. The team who gets all their players on the bench first is the winner.
At the end of a great session the judges conferred and were delighted to award the Star of the Week award to Alexander. Alexander normally has to leave half way through the session to go Horse riding so it was great that he could stay until the end and he made it count with a star performance throughout!
Join us again next week to see what Alan and the team have in store. Also, please pass the word on to anyone you may know who would benefit from the activities we run and invite them to come along and try for themselves.