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Good morning all,
I am at the initial stage of trying to set up a free sports and fitness club for 7-11 year old's. I am after some guidance and advice if anyone has experience in this?
This sounds like a great endeavour!
1st of all have your safeguarding/child protection certification in place. You might have to think about numbers per coach eg. 1 : 8 And at the moment you'll need a covid Risk Assessment done with you as the co-ordinator/officer or another certified volunteer.
There's a big difference between 7 year olds and 11 year olds and the numbers will shape what you do/the complexity of the games & activities. Simple is usually best.
At the moment we've still got covid protocols so you have to maintain social distance from the kids, ensure hand gel is used before and after the session and that no kids partake if they've had any symptoms etc.
Probably best outdoors where you can, on astro turf or a grass pitch. Good to be in contact with parents via something like a whatsapp group. You'll need to have contacts etc. as part of track and trace, and be able to log/note who's attended each session.
Kids this age can have varying degrees of attention, so I would structure it around different little games/activities lasting 5-10 minutes at a time. You could probably fit about 3 per session, with a water bottle break between each.
Start off each session after your roll call with a simple warm up with kids running on the spot, burpees etc. then gentle joint rotations. Speak to the kids, make sure you remember names and that the kids can get to know each other if they don't already. Little races across a pitch, crab crawling, bear crawling and wheelbarrow swapping partners at each end is popular.
And then get into the different games or activities. If there isn't an overall theme/sport eg. football, rugby, obstacle course etc. you might want to mix it up each session or see what's popular with the kids. Maybe have some basket ball one session and hockey the next, that kind of thing.
Dividing up into teams is always fun, make sure the teams vary for each session or activity. You could have 2 teams running a mirrored short obstacle course in relays for instance.
Games like rob the nest, bulldog (touch/tag, not tackle) are popular and develop different skills. You could have passing games, dribbling balls around obstacles then shooting at a goal for instance. Running a course with a ball as the relay baton is another one.
You might be thinking of doing circuit type activities, if so keep to using bodyweight exercises, balls etc. Equipment wise you might have a range at your disposal but think cones, balls, agility ladders, slalom poles, mini goals etc.
Work out a little plan before each session so you're not winging it. Plan out the training area. Entrance & exit points. Still being within the covid era you'll probably advise that one parent per child be present for pick ups etc. Depending on the situation and numbers you might aim to have at least one vetted parent helper as part of your team.
Good Luck, hope it goes well!
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