We’ve all had to learn to adapt and make changes to the way we live and work during the last year. We asked Active Communities Coaches Luke and Leahanna how they found the experience of returning to the school setting after Covid as well as gaining an interesting insight into a day in their life delivering sports sessions to children in Stockport.
How does it feel to be back coaching in the school setting?
Luke: It feels great being back in the school setting coaching and seeing how happy it makes the children seeing us come into the schools to deliver the sport provision.
Leahanna: It feels great to be back in the schools again delivering all the sessions we did before Covid. It’s good to see the children’s activity levels and fitness gradually increase back to normal which a lot of them lost due to isolation periods and school closures.
What challenges have you faced since returning and how do you overcome these?
Luke: When coming back into the coaching environment it was still during a strange time with all the social distancing rules, so it meant I had to adapt very quickly so that the children were able to still get the most out of every session as possible, even with the new rules.
Leahanna: We have faced some challenges around the mixing of children due to having to stick to bubbles for a long time, but we learnt to adapt to teaching smaller class sizes and integrating social distancing into the lessons. We overcame the challenges by coming together as a team to share ideas and come up with strategies to tackle any obstacles.
What do you enjoy most about delivering sessions?
Luke: I enjoy seeing the children with beaming smiles on their faces and them coming away from sessions having learned a new skill with me or it being one of the most enjoyable parts of their day.
Leahanna: The thing I enjoy most about delivering sessions is giving children a positive experience and attitude towards sport and physical activity, which will then hopefully set them up to carry this on throughout their lives.
What activities can children expect to take part in with you?
Luke: There is a wide variety of activities that I can offer as a coach from the well-known sports such as football, basketball, and cricket to the lesser-known sports such as ultimate frisbee and even American football, which has really started to become popular in the UK.
Leahanna: In schools, we deliver the full PE curriculum in the classes we teach so the children can expect to take part in a wide range of sports and activities such as striking and fielding games which is an area of the curriculum e.g. cricket. Then, at after school clubs, the children take part in a wide array of multi-sports games such as things like dodgeball and circle games which they may not get to play as much during curriculum time.
How important is it for children to have access to sessions like these?
Luke: With everything that happened with Covid and the lockdowns, it meant that physical activity was put on a back burner so in my opinion, it’s paramount now more than ever to get children engaging in some form of physical activity to maintain a healthy lifestyle. It also helps to create social interaction which can lead to lasting friendships and higher self-esteem.
Leahanna: It’s extremely important for the children to access sessions like we deliver in order for them to develop their social skills and their physical development. It’s important that children learn the physical literacy and grasp these early such as coordination, balance, and agility for them to be able to play sports as they get older. For children to enjoy being active, the sessions must be inclusive and engaging which is why its important children attend sessions delivered by specialists like us who know how to create a positive sporting experience for children.
Luke and Leahanna form part of Life Leisure’s Active Communities team and they are named so as they provide enriching, educational and fulfilling activities to members of our community. To find out more about the Active Communities team and what they do, please visit lifeleisure.net or follow them on Facebook.