Top tips to create your own virtual sports day at home

School sports days would usually be happening up and down the country this summer. But thanks to a need for social distancing, school closures and lockdown measures in light of Covid-19, young people are missing their friends and missing the sense of connection they get from enjoying sport and play.

In response to what would normally be National School Sport Week at the end of June, children’s charity the Youth Sport Trust is ensuring that no child misses out on a school sports day by reinventing its annual week and celebrating what should be a big part of young people’s summer.

The charity has created new, virtual resources with the help of Sky Sports who are supercharging the very first National School Sport Week at Home.

Joe Fraser, British gymnast who became the third British world champion in history last year for his parallel bars routine in Germany, is a Sky Sports Scholar who is backing the week. 

He said: 

With it being National School Sport Week at Home, I think it’s a great opportunity for us all to get active and involved! Giving us all the opportunity to try some new sports and experiences. Enjoy yourself, get involved and have fun.

World champion wheelchair racer Samantha Kinghorn is also supporting the week, she said: “Sport is amazing! Give everything your best, try new things and never give up.”

Taking place between 20 and 26 June, this year the charity wants to unite the whole country – families, schools, sport and businesses – in a celebration of the power of sport to bring people together to capture the enjoyment, challenge and camaraderie they are missing out on.

Take a look at the charity’s five top tips to create your own sports day at home:

1. Choose your activities for the week. For National School Sport Week at Home, we have worked with a range of partners to develop several challenges and activities to keep you busy across the week. All activities help young people to develop key skills while having fun. Try activities from the below sports:

  • Athletics (Track and Field) – Nutty Squirrels Practice running rapidly over short distances and change direction quickly using agility
  • Aiming Sports – Frisbee Golf Develop the throwing action and encourage children to be creative by making their own course
  • Team Sports – Sock Wars A fun game to help develop agility when attacking and defending against an opponent. An important skill for multiple invasion sports like basketball, netball, football and rugby
  • Adventure Sports – Horizontal climbing. Develop flexibility, coordination and balance. It also helps to develop mental skills like problem solving and planning
  • Artistic Sports – Yoga. Try out some Cosmic Kids Yoga and take things at a slower pace, all while having fun

2. Challenge yourself, your family, friends and neighbours. National School Sport Week at Home 2020 is all about togetherness. So why not think about how you can enjoy the week with others either in person or virtually? Post a note through your neighbours’ fence challenging them to ‘over the fence’ sock beach ball (just make sure you wash your hands) or get the whole family to introduce granny to a TikTok dance challenge via Facetime. Technology can play a great part in bringing sports day home and people together this summer. Whichever activity and challenge you choose, the focus should be to promote togetherness, inclusivity and wellbeing.

3. Make it inclusive. Sport is for everyone and despite having a pandemic on our hands, no one should be left out. So, when choosing your activities, think about motivation (is it to have fun/learn something new?), competence (what is everyone’s skill level and physical ability?) and confidence. It isn’t always about winning or being the best. We want the week to have something for everyone to ensure as many children as possible enjoy a school sports day this summer.

Have you also thought about the below to ensure inclusivity?

  • Space - Altering the space can make things easier or harder. Almost all our activities for National School Sport Week at Home can be done inside, so it doesn’t matter if you don’t have a garden. The Speed Bounce challenge can be done on a patio in a garden or using a doorway inside.
  • Task – Ensure everyone understands the game. Adapt the task by changing the length of time to complete the activity, giving a head start or altering the number of attempts to ensure everyone is having fun
  • Equipment – Use everyday items around the house if you don’t have equipment. Bean bags and balls become rolled up socks, frisbees can be made from a cardboard box or biscuit tin lid and tennis rackets become frying pans. Look around you and get creative!
  • People involved - Consider working alone, in pairs, teams or as a leader and follower so that young people can watch and copy

4. Play safely. Follow Government and Public Health guidance to stay safe. Wash your hands, stay alert and two metres from others, exercise in the fresh air if with people from outside your household – you know the drill!

5. Have fun and share your activities. We have aligned the ideas for activities and challenges from National School Sport Week at Home to the Five Ways to Wellbeing. During a time where social interaction has been extremely limited, we want you to look back fondly with memories of the enjoyment, challenge and connections that National School Sport Week at Home and the power of sport has provided. Help us to celebrate by posting your videos, photos and memories of your experiences to social media. You can even tag us in @YouthSportTrust @SkySports and use #NSSWtogether

More ideas on how to get involved and challenge yourself or others can be found by signing up to the week

Published on 16 June 2020