So as the first week of school draws to a close, I am left to reflect on what has been an exciting and extremely rewarding week of delivering PE. More often than not, my lasting memory of the week is the image of smiling children who have been enthused in their physical education journey, but not this week. Strangely enough my lasting memory of this week is that of smiling teachers who were enthused to learn something new that really shook up their inset day.
The reason for this…Tchoukball!
Now I was given the mid-day shift. Entering a room full of teachers who had the look of confusion, perhaps baffled as to where the last 7 weeks had gone. My task, tell them about our vision for PE in the coming year followed by a 30 minute practical session (needless to say this announcement was met with the odd groan and sarcastic comment).
Fast forward 1 hour and 30 minutes, way beyond our allotted time limit, and a hall full of beaming, red faced teachers. The outcome couldn’t have been any different from what I was expecting.
Tchoukball is not a new concept to me. In fact I spent some considerable time last year delivering gifted & talented sessions to children from a range of schools and hosted a mini competition at a local high school. It was back then that I realised this was a special game, somehow more inclusive than other team sports but maintaining the same levels of competitive spirit.
I won’t bore you with all of the rules, but in case you’re interested you can find them here. The aim of the game is to bounce the ball (size 1/2 football is adequate) onto a rebound frame so the opposing team can’t catch it. If the ball lands on the floor, then your team scores a point. There are 2 rebound frames in a game of tchoukball with both teams allowed to score on either, thus making the game multi dimensional. Simply having the rebound frames set up in the hall sparked intrigue amongst the staff, and as with children, it was the natural curiosity in them that acted as the hook. Now my job was to reel them in by showing them some basic drills, and then letting them enjoy this fantastic sport. You can find some useful tchoukball drills by following this link.
As the session drew to a close, I was approached by one particular member of staff whose exact words were…
“I have never in my life being even remotely sporty Ryan, but I absolutely loved playing tchoukball. I only wish I knew about it sooner”
Alas the staff returned for their afternoon inset on a massive high and ready to attack the coming term head on. We have since had discussions about setting up a staff team to meet on a weekly basis to play at their particular school!
My advice to you is simple. Buy some tchoukball rebound nets for your primary school! Not only will this spark your next inset day into life, but the children will LOVE IT! What better way to spend a small portion of your primary PE budget for the year. Check out this website for all of the equipment, trust me, you won’t regret it.
So now I look ahead to a weekend of rest, family time and learning, ready for whatever next week brings! I’ll catch you next time ‘under the umbrella’
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