Tennis was the main sport played this Saturday at Epping Forest Sportability Club
The session started as always with a warm-up - led by Ray this week. As you can see in the photos below this includes bending and stretching all the muscles and a little jogging around the hall before a tag game.
The tennis started with some basic such as balancing the ball on the racket; bouncing the ball on the racket and lastly bouncing the ball between racket and the ground. This was just to get the kids comfortable with the rackets and speed of the tennis balls and how hard to hit them.
They then went on to work in pairs with one throwing the ball for the other to hit back. Then switching around to ensure everyone got a turn at hitting.
Next up was a game which can be really funny called Build-a-burger. The kids have to create a stack like a burger of racket then ball then racket then ball etc etc. With the balls being round (Obviously!) it makes it really tricky to keep it all balanced and can lead to quite a few laughs.
The next Tennis based game was Champion where the kids form a line. Normally a ball would be thrown by the coach in the middle and whoever caught the ball would move up a spot and whoever fails to catch it would move to the bottom spot in line. This being a tennis based game though instead of catching the ball and throwing it back to the coach they had to hit it back using the racket. Hitting it back wildly to somewhere else in the hall was no good - it had to be back to the middle so the coach could catch it.
The last tennis game was King of the Court which we normally play outside in the summer. The kids have to try and hit the ball back over the net, and in to the court, and not get caught in order to survive for the next round. Fail to get the ball back over the net or miss the court or get caught then you join the other side doing the fielding and trying to catch the others out. The last person left in is King, or Queen, of the court.
After the break we rounded off the session with a game or two of Boccia then a game of Benchball. Boccia is quite sedate, a game of skill. Whereas Benchball is fast, furious and often very loud with lots of calling and shouting.
This weeks session at Epping Forest Sportability Club was all about Golf and in particular putting.
The session started as always with a bit of a warm up and this included some tag games such as Who's afraid of Mr Wolf?
Then it was out with all the golfing equipment - putters, tees, cones and hoops in our case.
Alan had come up with a number of games to try out and the first was a putting game where each player had to putt along the hall between the cones with the aim of getting the ball in the hoop at the far end. The coaches managed to get four lanes set up side-by-side so that the kids could get lots of goes each.
The next game we played was one we had played before. It involved putting loads of cones out over the hall and the kids had to stand behind a line and play their ball with the aim of hitting then cones. Once a cone has been hit they collect it and keep it. As the game goes on there are less and less cones to hit which makes it harder and harder. Once all the cones have been hit and collected each player counted their tally of cones. In the end the game was won by Callum and Alexander with 15 cones each.
The last game, which proved to be really popular was a new game. Numbered cones were laid out in a row at the far end of the hall with the cones numbered 1 at the ends (left and right) and then the numbers building up to the number 10 cones in the middle. The kids were then told to aim for a particular numbered cone and if they hit it they collected those points.
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!
Epping Forest Sportability Club is a multi-sports club for young people with mild to moderate physical and learning difficulties.