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equipment and ideas

In order to fully plan out your physically activity programme within your service it is important to understand what equipment you have to work with. Carrying out an equipment audit in your service will allow you to see what equipment is working, needing repaired or can no longer be used.

Why might we need new equipment to deliver activities?

Understanding what equipment you may need to successfully run activities can be a large and challenging process to undertake. Basic equipment you have around your service can used to engage children in individual and team activities such the Set 4 Sport games demonstrated during the first steps training. I.e. buckets, rope, soft balls, cones and hoops.

I strongly believe that every child can develop a passion for a number of sports if they are introduced to the basics at an early age. Service staff providing knowledge and opportunities to participate in sports allows children the chance to share their thoughts on sports and find out any barriers to children not taking part. Communication is key!

As I discuss in my delivery of the Activity & Wellbeing: The First Steps training it is worth discussing with colleagues, what sports do we want to promote? Offering sports other than Football is something that could be the main goal in order for all children to have the experience of playing a variety of sports.

Remember, you do not need to spend a great deal of money on equipment to run stimulating activities.

The following sports can be promoted using the following introduction to games and equipment.

Introduction to Badminton: Carry out basic badminton games such as 'Clear the Garden' using shuttle cocks. Clear the Garden involves 2 teams on either side of the net. The aim is to throw the shuttle cocks over t he net to the other side. Once the time is up, the game stops and each team counts up how many shuttle cocks are on their side of the net. The team with least amount of shuttle cocks are the winners. This fun game allow participants to get used to the weight and flight of a shuttle cock. Over time you can start to introduce badminton rackets and skills such as the 'Smash' and 'Drop Shot'.

Introduction to Tennis: Start with the basics, all you need is a tennis racket and a tennis ball. Have children walking around an area with the ball on the racket trying to keep the ball from touching the sides of the racket or falling off the edges, this will get them used to holding the handle of the racket and work on balance. To challenge participants have them start off bounce the ball on the racket, start by giving them small challenge like 3 bounces then walk 3 steps followed by another 3 bounces.

Introduction to Athletes: Carrying out athlete's activities can be great fun in a team or individual set up. Start by carrying out relay races at a walking pace (1 participant at a time) using equipment such as hurdles (lunging over) and hoops (putting body through hoop before returning back to base). Have participants in teams and each take a turn of walking the course infront of them, the team who returns the quickest and are sitting down are the winners. You can add in equipment such as walking the course with a bean bag on their heads or carrying a tennis racket with a ball in the middle. Over time you can build up the speed and agility required during the circuit to make it more realistic to track athletics events.

Introduction to Basketball: If you don't have any basketballs any ball will do for delivering activities. Carry out activities such as bouncing the ball around cones or objects followed by throwing the ball into a bucket or through hoop. Remember to add in developments to keep participants engaged and challenged. (Introducing developments into games is a key theme during the Activity & Wellbeing: The Next Steps Training).

Introduction to Netball: This is a great sport to promote team work and is also none contact. Similar to Basketball you do not have to have an official netball to play. Introduce participants to netball by having two teams in a marked out court/pitch. The aim of the introduction game is to keep the ball by throwing it to team mates for as long as possible without the ball dropping to the floor or the other team gaining possession of the ball. Introduce targets for each team for example, 5 concussive throws to team mates would gain your team 2 points. Introducing goals and challenges keeps the game fun and motivational to participants.

Top tips to sourcing out equipment

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