Bike Skills and Archery at Ellesmere College

Today was one of those days when if felt as though I hardly had time to breath.

Although I’m working on Ellesmere College’s Adventure + program this week, they are also very busy with other groups on the College grounds at the moment. Among them are the girls cricket squads from Shropshire, Cheshire and Staffordshire. Naturally, their focus is their cricket, but I was asked to do a short team building type session with each of the three squads. I opted for the ‘Marble Run’ which is a simple enough task in itself, but takes planning, cooperation and encouragement to achieve well, especially when the stopwatch adds a competitive twist. All three groups managed to complete the task but, in spite of their fewer numbers, the Cheshire squad worked incredibly well together managing to post a time significantly faster than the others – well done!

Explaining about body position on slopes
Explaining about body position on slopes

The rest of the day was spent back with the Adventure + program, for who I did an off road cycling skills session before lunch. This was actually done on a flat playing field, so I had to be a bit creative. We looked at effective use of brakes, gears (especially when approaching an uphill section) and use of body weight and positioning before moving on to a few obstacles that I’d prepared in advance. It’s amazing how much you can do on flat ground, and it’s actually got me thinking about making a few pre-prepared obstacles for practicing specific skills in a fun and challenging way. What this space!

After lunch, I got the Archery set up and ran a session for a couple of hours on the indoor range. After a few rounds of practising basic technique, I introduced a bit of competition in various ways. Scoring always raises the stakes, and adding a few balloons onto the target faces tends to increase the concentration no end. I also had a few extra ideas up my sleeve again. I’d thought about pinning sweets to the targets to be shot and won, but decided that this would simply get too messy if they were fortunate enough to hit them! In the end, I compromised by writing the names of different sweets on pieces of paper and they won whatever they hit. It certainly seemed to go down well as they didn’t want to stop.

It was certainly a busy and varied day, but a lot of fun too!

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