With the England side having lost badly in the Ashes there is a great need for some good new emerging talent in the world of cricket. So we at Epping Forest Sportability Club had a session based around cricket skills to try and inspire the next generation of Joe Root's.
The session started as always with a warm up and that included the favourite game of the moment - What's the time Mr Wolf?
It was soon in to the main sport though and to start Alan and the coaching team had the members pairing off to work on some throwing and catching to each other. That soon progressed in to a game of Champions led by Ollie. In this game the members stand in line and Ollie throws a tennis ball to each member in turn, but randomly. If they catch the ball they move up a spot in the line but if they fail to catch the ball then they move to the bottom spot in the line. Whoever, is at the top spot in the line at the end of the time is the Champion.
Our last cricket based game was Three Tee Cricket where members take it in turns to bat and accumulate as many runs as possible. They start with three tennis balls atop three tees and hit them one at a time trying to get them as far up the hall as possible. Then, once the last ball is hit, they try and run as many times between the stumps as possible in the time it takes all the fielders to collect all three balls and tees and put them back in to their starting positions. At the end of the game the batter who scored the most runs on their turn was declared the winner.
After a well deserved drinks break we switched sports to take things a bit easier with some Boccia based games. The group split in to two teams - blues and reds - and as you can see in the photos above the first game was about getting your balls in to the same coloured ring. The second game was a classic game of Boccia with the aim being to be the closest to the white "Jack" ball.
Our last game in the session was Benchball where the two teams faced off against each other from either end of the hall. It is another catching based ball game where team work, throwing and catching are key. Each team starts with all their players on the floor with just one player standing on the bench. They must pass the ball to each other three times, without dropping it or letting the other side get hold of it, before they can shoot for the bench. Once three passes have been completed and they are close enough to their bench they can throw to their person on the bench. If it is caught the thrower joins their colleague on the bench and gradually more and more players join the bench. Once all players are on the bench that team is the winner. However, it is not easy as they other team will be defending for their lives trying to block passes and intercept the ball so that they can get the ball to the other end of the hall quickly and to their own bench.
We were due to play Rugby the Saturday before but one look at the balls in the storeroom put an end to that once we realised how few good ones we had. A very good job then that Alan managed to find and purchase some great new Rugby balls during the week.
We started the session with a jog around the hall then some warm up games such as tag and "What's the time Mr Wolf?"
It was then out with the new Rugby Balls and pairing up to practice throwing and catching to each other. From there it was on to a game where everyone stood in a circle and the ball was passed around the circle.
After a short drinks break it was then on to relay games using the full length of the hall and swerving around cones. This ended with the members working in pairs once more as they passed the ball to each other as they moved up the hall.
Our last Rugby game was a tag game called Hunter where the balls are in rings and one member has to try and run and collect a ball and get it back without getting tagged. Meanwhile another child is the hunter who has to run and catch the player with the ball, grabbing a tag from their belt.
After all that Rugby fun it was time for a well earned rest. So time for a snack break which allowed the kids to sit down and have a chat whilst they had their food and drink. Before long though it was back in the hall for our final activity of the session which was more throwing and catching but this time with Velcro pads and balls. First it was practising in pairs but it ended with the group splitting in to two teams (blues and yellows) for a game of Velcro handball. The idea being to pass the ball down the hall between team mates before shooting at the goal.
We had a pretty good turn out on Saturday and it was great to see some of the newer members back after the Christmas break. It was also great to welcome a brand new member Daisy who came along to see what we get up to. It was a pleasure to see her get involved straight away and to settle in so quickly. We hope she enjoyed herself, along with all our members, and will be back to enjoy another sport next Saturday.
Anyway, back to Saturday and after a short warm up the whole session was dedicated to the sport of Hockey. First of all it was some ball familiarisation and I am not talking about recognising a tennis ball in a line up here. This is basically moving the ball around the hall using the hockey stick keeping close control so that when it gets trickier later on, in a competition scenario, ball control does not let you down. We then moved on to a traffic light game led by Ollie. When Ollie held up a red cone it meant you and your ball should stop. When it was orange (amber) it was stand still and move your ball from side to side with your stick. Lastly, when Ollie held up a green cone then it was Go and move around the hall moving the ball as you went.
After a short break it was on to a more advanced form of skill control by controlling the ball around a slalom course of cones and scoring between the cones at the end. Taking it up a notch we then pitted members against each other along parallel slalom courses in some races.
After the main break for drinks and snacks we changed to some games of bench hockey. It is best explained by looking at the pictures above but basically teams face off against each other with the hockey sticks placed through the bench with cones for goals at each end. It is a lot like table football in a way moving the ball from one end to the other while your opposition are trying to do the same in the other direction. As you can see we managed to have two games going side by side which allowed the teams to swap around and play each other.
We finished off with some games of hockey using the whole hall and using the benches as goals. We spit the group in to three teams and had a series of short games so that each team played the other two and put all the skills they had learnt and practised in to good use.
Firstly a Happy New Year to all our members, their families and all our followers!
It was great to be back at Sportability Club at Oak View School last Saturday as we eased our way in to the new year. It was a relatively quiet week in terms of numbers but we had a great session which was mainly focused around badminton.
As you can see in the photos below we started with some warm up games to get the legs going and the bodies warmed up, all led by coach Ray. This consisted of some games of "What's the time Mr Wolf?" where the players try to creep up on the wolf while their back is turned. They call out "What's the time Mr Wolf?" and if he answers 10 o'clock then you have to move 10 steps but when he calls out "dinner time" he turns and tries to catch you before you get back to safe ground. These games were followed some games of Rob the Nest where each team try to gain as many bean bags as possible by robbing other team's bags from their nests (hoops in our case).
With all the warm up games done and dusted and after a quick drink it was then on to our main sport of Badminton. We rigged up all the nets so we had one big net along the middle of the hall then the members paired up. Generally we tried to put pairs together of a similar ability but the members were free to switch partners if they wished too. The kids worked on serving over the net to their partner, returning the shuttle cock back and then on to building up a rally if they could. The longer the rally the more satisfying it gets! Some kids just love to play the game where as others get a little competitive and want to play for points so that they can win their match ups.
With the kids having so much fun playing badminton they almost forgot to stop for a break. It was nearly midday when they eventually stopped to grab a drink and eat their snacks. We still had time to play a couple of games of Boccia. The first was target Boccia where we use a big round mat with different coloured rings as the target. Each ring is worth a different value with the outside ring being the lowest value up to the bulls eye in the middle. The group split in to two teams with the Red team at one end of the hall and the Blues at the other. Each player had a ball and took it in turns to get as close to the bulls eye as possible. At the end when everyone had taken their turns the referees used all their fingers and toes to add up the totals and work out which team was the winner.
The second game of Boccia was classical Boccia using a white Jack ball much like crown green bowling. The Jack was thrown in to the centre of the hall and each player tries to get as close as possible to it. It is a team game so if your opposing team manage to get a ball right up close to the Jack you could use one of your teams to try and blast it out of the way, for example. Once everyone had taken their turn points are awarded to the team with the ball(s) closest to the Jack. If your team had two, three or even four balls nearer to the Jack than the first of the opposing team then you would get that many points. After a few games (ends) the team with the most points is declared the winner!
Epping Forest Sportability Club is a multi-sports club for young people with mild to moderate physical and learning difficulties.