Read the full A-Star Sports blog. With a wide range of articles on sport and coaching headlines, children’s activities, child development, health and fitness, education and business (with a franchising focus), there’s something for everyone.
Or keep up-to-date with an easy login via Facebook: Follow my blog with Bloglovin
A quick view of our latest posts:
Fascinating 'child's eye' view of coaching in action
We’d love to hear from you if you have some interesting stories about how children have pictured or commented on your style as a coach :)
Ever wondered what u look like to children when ur coaching? Here’s co-founder Gary Bassett in action (by Sam) :) pic.twitter.com/9E2N252joE— A-Star Sports (@AStarSports_UK) November 6, 2013
The Power of Hands-On Inspiration
This year we’ve definitely had the summer of dodgeball. A-Star Sports kids have spent a day with ambassador Alex Harrison, England Lions dodgeball player and coach, putting his wider skills to the test over ten core sports (including dodgeball). This was followed by an afternoon of dodgeball activities and matches with both the England Lions Men’s and Women’s teams, including a visit from Stephen Mosley MP, who was keen to roll his sleeves up alongside Kimba the Lion and get stuck into the sport that is truly ‘for all’ (even very tall MPs!). And – the icing on the cake – the locally hosted European Dodgeball Championships, where both England Lions teams triumphed, prior to a Euro Dodgeball Camp (a day of dodgeball for U13s in partnership with the UKDBA).
The most amazing outcome from this summer of dodgeball, though, is the positive impact that international sportsmen and women can truly have on young children. In the lead up to the championships, the England players welcomed the opportunity to get stuck into the nitty gritty of physical activity and sports coaching with children as young as three years old and jump for joy (high fives aplenty) when a ten year old throws a corker that catches an England team-mate off guard.
On the days of the Championships themselves, A-Star Sports kids took on the role of ‘ball returners’. As one of them so neatly put it, “It’s like ball boys and girls at Wimbledon but for dodgeball!” Faced with such responsibility, the kids rose beautifully to the challenge and were rewarded beyond words. Players from all 18 teams stopped to talk to them, asked them what they thought of the matches and even shared tips and tactics. In the lunchtime demonstration games, which were initially just for kids, players from the Home Nations, Sweden and others came to join in. Within minutes the kids were aglow with confidence on a very open stage – working together, putting into practice skills and tactics they’d seen the international players use in previous matches.
Having involved kids in team talks, played matches, signed shirts and balls, passed on dodgeball memorabilia, even allowed them access to referees to check the rules (“If the ball hits the Swedish player’s rather long hair, would he still be out?” – the answer is yes!), the #EuroDodge2013 players are now superstars and role models. More importantly, they are real, accessible people who truly understand the power of hands-on inspiration.
Without doubt, it’s sport leaders like Alex Harrison and Martin Knight (England Lions coach) that are really setting standards which will impact on positive participation both during and beyond primary level. They’re willing to bring a new dimension to children’s experience of sport and give hands-on help to show them just how much fun sport can be.
See our video here: http://youtu.be/UhoLHYmXJQc
Why choose A-Star Sports? Well, it’s been a very busy summer but here’s what some of our customers and latest ambassador - England Lions dodgeball player and coach, Alex Harrison - had to say…
The UK Coaching Framework provides the coaching industry with a common vision and a practical reference point to drive the development of excellent coaching practice. Excellent Coaching Every Time for Everyone is the overriding vision of the frameworkUK Coaching Framework | sports coach UK
Starting out in sport - A-Star Sports ambassador Helen Richardson talks about her early experiences and inspiration
Interview with Helen Richardson, Team GB hockey player and Olympic bronze medallist
Inspiring children to be active and play sport at all levels is a key ambition for A-Star Sports ambassador Helen Richardson. Knowing just how important early engagement is for young children, we asked Helen about how she got started and what encouraged her to keep participating:
What’s your earliest memory of enjoying being active / playing sport?
"When I was about 5 or 6 years old, playing football and cricket in the park with my three older brothers and roller hockey on the patio in the back garden. We would literally spend the whole day playing and generally being active."
What influence did your family, friends, teachers and coaches have on you with regard to being active / playing sport?
"My family were massively influential. First of all my parents both loved sport, it was part of my life from day one. Then I had three brothers who I always played sport with or just making up games. We also lived next to a park which was quite deliberate and was perfect for being active but safe at the same time. I had a male teacher at my Primary School who started a football and cricket club and invited the girls to play with the boys which was great for me. I also joined a local hockey club when I was seven years old with my brothers. It was a men’s club and the coaches were completely responsible for giving me the best start to my hockey playing career, they were very influential."
Who were your most influential role models in Key Stages 1 & 2 (primary school)?
"I guess the people I’ve mentioned above. So my brothers, my Primary school teacher and my hockey club coaches."
What inspired you as a youngster to keep on participating?
"I just absolutely loved it! It’s just what I did, I really enjoyed it, I was good at it and that’s where, for me, I felt most comfortable. I also thrived on the competitive side of sport."
What advice would you give to parents / families / teachers / coaches trying to inspire children to take part in activities and sports?
"Start as young as possible. Make it fun and enjoyable. Praise hard work. Challenge those that want and need to be challenged, allowing them to explore their own solutions. The same for the competitive side, some love it and need it, some hate it. Lastly, if it’s cold and wet outside, either go inside, or get them in the right kit to keep them warm….being cold is the worst thing when playing sport!"