It was great to be back after the Easter break, even if the weather had more of a winter feel to it. Being summer term what better sport to play than Tennis.
Ollie and Ray led the warm up before the Tennis started with some hitting practice. As you can see in the first photo below the kids paired up across the hall from each other. One would throw (feed) the ball to the other who using a tennis racket would aim to hit the ball back to their partner. So it was all about hitting the ball with the racket with the correct strength and direction to allow the partner to catch the ball. After a few turns the pair would switch so the other had a turn at hitting.
From there we used the cones in the opposite direction as a slalom course up the hall. The kids had to balance a tennis ball on the racket as they went up the course. At the far end they had to bounce the ball on the racket a few times before coming back.
For those good enough they took it to the next level by bouncing the ball on the racket as they went up the slalom course.
Stepping things up a bit the kids then went on to play "Build the Burger". This is where they start with a ball sandwiched between two players tennis rackets. They go up and down the course then add another ball with another members racket on top of that (so 3 kids, 3 rackets and 2 balls). Up and down the course without collapsing before trying to add a third ball & fourth racket. As the burger is built the harder it is to keep it all together which makes for a lot of concentration but also fun when it falls apart!
After the main break we switched to playing some games of King of the Court. The kids love this game and it needs a good level of skill to return the ball back over the net and in to the court whilst not getting caught at the same time. So control of the ball and hitting it properly are key with direction and speed the all important factors.
The game starts with one person throwing the ball over the net to the first person in the line. They have to return it back over the net and in to the court without being caught to stay in the game. Hit it in to the net or out of the court OR get caught and you are out and you join the person throwing the ball on the other side of the net as a catcher. The game continues until only one player is left in and that person is crowned the Queen or King of the Court.
The kids loved the game so much they carried on with it until the end of the session. I was reliably informed that the winners of the games were Kerrie and Liam so well done to them. A potential brother / sister double act in time for Wimbledon perhaps??
Epping Forest Sportability Club is a multi-sports club for young people with mild to moderate physical and learning difficulties.