Our last session before the Easter break started as always with some warm up games which included some stretches and the favourite warm up game – What’s the Time Mr Wolf?
We then moved on to our main sport of Hockey starting off with some skills practice. So first up was “following the line” which was literally trying to control the ball with the hockey stick as you followed the line on the floor. This then moved naturally on to dribbling the ball around a string of cones. Next up was the Traffic light game where the members have to obey the signal held up by the coach – green for go, amber for moving the ball side to side on the spot and finally red for stop.
After the traffic light game, the members paired up for the next activity. In this each pair started on a different spot and when directed by the coach would move around with the ball. When the coach then called out “Change” they would stop and pass to their partner who would then take their turn until Change was called out once more. This was then made that little bit harder with the introduction of cones, so the members would have to move the ball around the cones and then try and avoid them when passing to their partner back on the spot.
At break time we all tucked in to some delicious hot cross buns -with butter! - that Callum had brought in. A big thank you to Callum and his mum for treating us.
After the break we split the groups in to three teams so that we could play some hockey games using benches for goals at either end. This put in to use all the things the kids had been practising this morning including ball control and passing - with the added aspects of shooting and goal tending.
We played quite a few curling matches, after our main break, using the yellow target that Alan had borrowed and brought in from Hare Street School in Harlow. Members were paired off and brought up to play each other. One would play the red stones and their opponent the blue stones. They had four stones each to throw and the winner was the player who got the most stones on the target. Each member played at least one game with the more enthusiastic ones playing two or even three games.
Our final Star of the Week award went to Callum for his great skill shown throughout the Hockey games and partly because he brought in all those yummy buns (bribery does work sometimes!). Well done Callum! Everyone was a winner though as, being Easter, there was an Easter Egg for each person at the end of the session.
We are now closed for three weeks for the Easter Holidays so look forward to seeing everyone back for the start of summer term on April 21st. In the mean time, from everyone at Epping Forest Sportability Club we wish you a Happy Easter and hope you enjoy the break whatever you get up to.
Despite the snow returning to Loughton on Saturday morning, we had a good turnout for our session which was dominated by Basketball.
After a warm up session including stretching, jogging and some tag games including What's the Time Mr Wolf? we played a game involving cones before moving on to the main sport of Basketball.
The cone game is simple - loads of cones are laid out on the floor. Half are face up, the other half face down. When the game starts one side will aim to get as many as possible facing up, the other side as many as possible facing down.
The basketball started, as always, with some skills practice - bouncing the ball, throwing it in the air and clapping as many times as you can before catching it; moving it around your waist and also bouncing the ball between your legs. It was then on to a shooting practice routine where we make use of both nets in the school hall with half the kids lining up to shoot in to one basket and the rest lining up for the other basket. Once each member has their shot they pass the ball to the next person then move to the back of the other queue so they end up going around the hall from one queue & basket to the other.
After a quick drinks break it was back on court for some one-on-one basketball games. This is where players are matched up with other members of a similar age, size or ability. They run from one of the hall to the other where Ollie will throw the ball in. The idea then is get the ball and get back down to the basket at the other end and score first. It is fast competitive and involves offense and defence in the same game,
After another break for drinks and snacks the final part of the session was split in two parts. Firstly we had some team basketball games using the whole hall and both baskets. Frantic action utilising all the skills learnt throughout the session. The last twenty minutes or so were spent playing Indoor Curling using a new Curling set we have bought with the assistance of a grant from Epping Forest District Council. The set comprises of four red and four blue "stones" which are disks with ball bearings on the under side. We used a small disk as the centre target with a circle of other disks around it and then members played head to head trying to get the best score.
We had a really good turnout last Saturday which made for a fantastic session filled with many different drills and games. The theme was "throwing" which doesn't sound too exciting on the face of it, in fact one or two of our younger members thought it easy and boring to start with. But it soon became apparent it was far from boring.
The session started as always with a warm up including some stretching and a game of "What's the Time Mr Wolf?! This is to help wake the kids up and get the bodies warmed up for the activities to come. The first throwing activity was working in pairs throwing and catching with each other - not that exciting I agree! This quickly moved on to the pairs separating further apart and doing bounce passes to each other trying to hit a marker disc with their bounce - a bit tougher maybe but still not setting the world alight, so to speak. But then it moved on to targeted throwing by throwing your ball at a smaller ball which was balancing on a cone and trying to knock it off. It is a lot harder to do than it sounds and soon enough the kids were getting competitive trying to out do each other.
The group then moved on to a game which involved numbered cones with the idea being to get the highest score by hitting the highest numbered cones. We then had a game where all the kids formed a circle and the ball was thrown and caught amongst the players
After a drinks break the throwing skills were taken to the next level as the group split in to teams to play some games of Dodgeball. For those that do not know, Dodgeball is a game where you aim to get your opposing team out by hitting them below the knee with a soft ball that you throw. The opposing team are trying to do exactly the same to you and your team with the winners being the team to get all the opposing players out. The game is played on a court similar to tennis or badminton but without a net. There are also many different balls in play at the same time so you have to be very alert dodging the balls and not getting hit. During the game if you are able to catch a ball thrown by an opponent before it touches the ground then you can re-instate a team mate who had previously been out.
So, as it sounds, the games are manic, fast paced with balls flying everywhere (which probably explains why there were no photos of this game). As the game goes on and the number of players left in goes down the games get a bit more tactical. A good aim and throw are therefore vital to getting your opponent out but catching and being agile to avoid being hit yourself are also key.
The main sport last Saturday was Tennis, but in the loosest sense as no Tennis matches were played! It was more around ball control, throwing and catching. The session started as always with a warm up - this time stretching exercises rather than a tag based game. Then everyone grabbed a tennis racket and tennis ball and the first exercise was balancing the ball on the racket as each person walked around the hall. They then switched to bouncing the ball with the racket as they moved around. After that everyone paired up to take things to the next level and that meant one person throwing the ball to their partner a few feet away by means of a bounce pass. This was so that their partner could return the ball with the racket meaning controlling speed and direction so that it didn't fly off across the hall. The pair would switch around between throwing and hitting so that they had a go at each. The more adventurous pairs even tried both hitting to each other with the racket to try and build up a rally - but I am not sure that went very well!
As it turned out the last racket based game we played was the Hamburger game where small teams were formed and the idea was to build a large stack of racket - ball - racket - ball - racket. The more rackets and balls the better and then move around the hall trying to keep the stack (burger) together.
At this stage we stopped for a refreshment break and were intending to get the tennis nets out to start playing some points / matches. However, as the turnout last weekend included a lot of younger children it may have been a bit too much for them so coach Ray switched the game to some throwing and catching games. Firstly, everyone sat in a circle and the ball was rolled from the coach in the middle to each player in turn. Then, everyone stood up and it became throws instead of rolls as we played a game of Champions. Catch the ball and you move up the line, drop it and you move down. The Champion is the person at the head of the line at the end of play.
Epping Forest Sportability Club is a multi-sports club for young people with mild to moderate physical and learning difficulties.