Last week Beth and I took part in the TUI Games. This is the 2nd year TUI has run this all-day sporting event for 200 local children in partnership with SportInspired. SportInspired’s mission is to help young, disadvantaged people, by bringing communities together through the power of sport. The event was held at a local sports gym where four schools arrived for an amazing, inspiring, if a little chaotic kind of day!
The children were split into teams and were paired with a TUI team leader, a TUI mentor and a GCSE age young leader from a local secondary school. This was a great chance for them to get involved with their community, be a role model to the younger children and learn leadership skills.
I was a mentor for 8 enthusiastic and excitable children ready to give their all in the six sports – Fiitball, Boccia, New age Kurling, Rugby, Netball and Athletics. The first job of the day was to bond with the children by playing warm up games, coming up with a team name, team chant and dance. After a lot of great ideas, the vote went to “Team Crazy Kids” and the dance included the running man and a huge amount of dabbing!
There were mixed responses within the group for each sport as many had never tried or even heard of Fiitball, Boccia and New age Kurling, but I couldn’t tear them away once they got the hang of each game. The favourite sport within Team Crazy kids was Fiitball which is a hybrid of Netball, Basketball, Football and American Football. I felt like one of those proud ‘Soccer Mums’ getting far too into the game, pacing the side of the pitch and shouting encouragement from the side line! It was fantastic to see them work as a team and learn new sports which SportInspired hopes the children will take up in the long term thanks to days like the TUI Games.
Beth had a different role from mine and gives her version of the day.
My role for the day was to coach the rugby along with another TUI colleague. Having only ever coached teenagers, I knew the day was going to be a bit different from what I was used to. We were given the responsibility of organising rugby-based activities that engaged and entertained 4 very enthusiastic teams at a time for half an hour.
The first activity we prepared was a simple passing drill whereby we got the pupils, in their teams, to line up across the sports hall and pass the ball along the line as fast as they could. Although this was only a simple exercise, it really got everyone excited about the sport.
The second exercise, aptly named ‘Rob the Nest’, was possibly the most enjoyable yet most chaotic of the day. It involved each team starting in their designated corner of the square with 12 rugby balls placed in the middle. The teams had to run in to collect the balls and take them back to their corner. Once all of the balls in the middle had been taken, they were then allowed to steal them from their oppositions’ corners.
As you can probably imagine, this resulted in 40 very excitable children all running in completely different directions for 10 minutes ignoring every single rule we had given them! It was great fun to watch and it was even better seeing all the students of all abilities getting involved and enjoying themselves.
We ended each half an hour session with a touch rugby game. While two of the teams were playing, the other two teams were given the chance to practice their chants they had been learning throughout the day which made for a great atmosphere in the sports hall and really got everyone into the competitive spirit.
The Games ended with an awards ceremony and a visit from some important faces including the Mayor of Luton, Nick Longman, Managing Director of TUI and of course Thomson the Dog! I think it’s safe to say that both Catrina and I thoroughly enjoyed the TUI Games and it was amazing to see every single child leave with a huge smile on their face and a TUI medal around their neck. It was also a great day for us both to get to know other colleagues from around the business and give a little back to the community.
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