26 March 2018

Hannah Winsbury

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On Saturday (24th March), 17 new Korfball Activators were trained as part of the Youth Sport Trust’s Girls Active Coaches Camp at Loughborough University.

The residential camp, delivered by the Youth Sport Trust, National Governing Bodies, Loughborough University and activity providers, was funded by Sport England through National Lottery funding and aimed to equip girls with the coaching skills needed to return to their schools and community to engage their least active peers.

Korfball was one of six sports on offer to the girls, and proved to be a popular option. Other sports included Softball, Dance, and Parkour.

For most of the girls, the Activator was their first taste of Korfball – but it certainly won’t be their last. Each of the 17 girls will now be tasked with delivering 10 weeks of Korfball activity to inactive pupils in their secondary schools.

Ali Oliver, Chief Executive of Youth Sport Trust, said:

“We know from research that competition switches some girls off from sport – with only 50% aged 11 to 16 stating they like it when PE lessons are competitive. This is a significant number of girls that are left feeling isolated when physical activity takes this approach.

Through the new Girls Active Coaches Camp we will support girls to be inspired to be the change towards getting more girls active by using PE and sport for enjoyment, participants and personal development rather than competition.”

During the camp, the girls had opportunities to develop their coaching skills. Within the Korfball session, the participants learnt more about Korfball, and discussed how it could get inactive people taking part in sport and physical activity.

Having observed tutor Jessica Skinner deliver as an Activator, the girls then picked apart the rules of Korfball, before playing for the first time. Suffice to say, they got the hang of it quickly! They then thought about the types of participants that may wish to try Korfball, and how they could remove barriers to participation before leading their own activities in small groups.

At the beginning of the session, very few of the girls knew what Korfball was, but by the end there were smiles all around as a new batch of Activators head out ready to take Korfball to a new group of participants. The young coaches were asked what they’d learnt about Korfball – here’s some of our favourite answers:

“Korfball is super, super cool because there is so much constantly going on!”

“It’s incredibly fun and good for engaging a wide variety of people”

“Korfball is a fast-paced game with lots of tactical movements

The girls described the sport as “exhilarating”, “fun and energetic” – and “exhausting!”.

England Korfball is delighted to have been involved in the Girls Active Coaches Camp and to have played a part in these talented young coaches journey. The girls were enthusiastic, engaged and inquisitive throughout the session – we can’t wait to see and hear they get on when they return to their secondary schools to deliver Korfball to their peers.

If you’re interested in hosting a Korfball Activator Award, please contact Hannah Winsbury, National Development Officer, via email.