We saw a really good turn out this weekend for our first session back after half term. The sports and games this week were mainly centred around tennis. We started as usual with a warm up which this week was a few games of Tag. Then it was on to some throwing and catching practice in pairs using tennis balls. From there it was ball control with a racket with each member trying to bounce the ball on the ground using an indoor tennis racket.
After a short refreshment break it was on to our favourute tennis game "King of the Court". This is where the aim of the game is to return the ball over the net without getting caught. If you are caught you join the fielding team but if you survive you go to the back of the queue to wait for you next turn. It is last person standing who becomes King (or Queen) of the Court.
The last tennis based game was a new one from Alan called Build a Burger. This is where teams compete to see how many layers they can build with their tennis rackets and tennis balls and then negotiate a course without the burger falling apart. As you can see in the photos it is very tricky and involves great balance and concentration.
After a final break for a snack and a drink we played a couple of ball games that involved no running around but rather being stationary sitting on the floor. The first involved everyone making a large cicle and rolling the ball to each other. The main game was loosely based around goalball. As you can see in the photos below the group split in to teams of three with a goal keeper and two outfield players per team. The goals were the benches and the players had to stay on their mats. So a game of teamwork, passing and shooting but in a very controlled way with careful aim so that your opponents could not intercept the ball.
We had a very energetic last session before the half term break with lots of fun running games.
We started with a game of tag to warm up before a game of Rob the Nest. This is a favourite game where the group break in to teams in the four corners of the hall. The game starts with all the balls in a hoop in the centre of the hall. One player from each team goes at the same time to get a ball from the centre. Then the next player and so on but once all the balls have gone from the centre that hoop is removed and they start robbing the balls from each others nests. The idea of the game being to end up with the most balls in your nest when the time is up. It is a game with a lot of running but also a lot of strategy so brains as well as stamina are required.
After a well deserved drinks break it was time for a new game - Shark Attack. It sounds horrific but was actually quite simple and a lot of fun. A ship is marked out in the middle of the hall with four mats representing islands. All the kids are aboard the ship at the start of the game with one exception - the Shark who is waiting to catch anyone falling overboard. But then tradgedy strikes and the ship sinks (when the coach calls out) so all the passengers have to get to land before getting caught by the hungry shark.
After a snack break the last game we played was Benchball so more running but teamwork and passing as well. Over all it was a very energetic session which was great as we had a really good turn out. We also had a second group of students with us from Harlow College filming a promotional video to help publicise the club for the Essex Local Offers website so we look forward to seeing the end result
At the end of the session the coaches awarded the Star of the Week to one of our newest and most enthusiastic members. It was his birthday so his winning smile was ever present throughout the session and the energy he brought to all the games was great to see. A very well done and we hope he had a lovely birthday!
Just a reminder that as it is half term there is no club this coming Saturday (18th) but we will be back as usual on the 25th. See you all then
Our focus this week was on throwing and catching with a variety of skills based games which proved a lot more fun than perhaps you might have expected. We started off in pairs doing basic throwing to your partner and catching. As confidence increased the gap between the pairs was increased so that they had to throw further each time.
We then progressed to a game I used to play myself as a child. I have no idea what it's name is but it is played in pairs and involves getting penalised every time you drop a catch but you can redeem yourself each time you make a catch. You both start off standing facing each other. You throw the ball to your partner, if they drop the catch they have to kneel on one knee. If they drop the next throw they go to both knees. Then one hand behind your back and if you miss again you lose. However, if you catch the ball you move back a step so if on two knees and you catch it you go back to only one knee, and so on. Basically you have to catch the ball more times than your partner and be consistent to win.
The last game before a drinks break was a game called Champions. All the members line up in a row facing the coach and he thows to each child in turn. If the catch the ball they move up the row, if they drop it they move down the row. It is a fast paced game with the winner being the member who is top of the row and the end of the game.
After the break we started to use the velcro pads and balls. As you can see in the photos to start with we just had the pads on the big targets at each end of the hall. They first practised throwing at the target pads trying to scorre. It then moved in to team games just throwing to each other up the field of play until trying to score, while the oppisition did their best to block the targets. After a while we switched to using the pads. The team had to pass the ball to each other as before but catch with the pad. If the ball was dropped and hit the floor however and it would be turned over to the opposing team. We saw some great teamwork and some good long throws and catches down the hall as teams tried to make quick breaks.
Last Saturday it was the turn of Hockey to be the focus of the session. As you can see from the photos below we started with a series of one on one races where the aim was to control the ball around a course of cones. We then progressed to races where the two competitors would battle for the ball before trying to shoot at goal and beyond the keeper.
After a quick drink break we switched to bench hockey to encompass some team work. If you have not seen it before we break in to teams and using benches the teams face off against each other. The benches form a tunnel with the teams having a goal to aim for at either end. It is therefore the aim to progress the ball along the tunnel passing between team mates before shooting through the goal posts.
The final part of the session was some "normal" games of Hockey. The teams took it in turns to play each other using the skills they had practiced earlier in the session. The games were fun but competitve.
At the end of the session, as you can see from the photos below, Zakaa was thrilled to be named Star of the Week. So a very well done to Zakaa for all the effort he put in and the way he played throughout the session!
Next Saturday we should have a visit from some Media students from Harlow College who will be shooting a video with the aim of promoting the club on the Essex Local Offer website. It would be great to see as many of you as possible - you never know you may become the star of the show!
See you then.....
Epping Forest Sportability Club is a multi-sports club for young people with mild to moderate physical and learning difficulties.