Garden-based Olympics for primary schools
With the UK currently in lock-down with all schools closed, we’ve put together a set of fun activities for young children to practice in their gardens with the aim of developing fundamental athletics skills
Team GB Olympian, Sonia Samuels and World & European Duathlon Champion, Nick Samuels introduce the activities. The aim is to keep them fun, safe with a good helping of competition, whether with your siblings or improving on your previous performances. Practice makes perfect!
- Great for coordination and agility, see how many times you can throw and catch the ball off the wall.
- Set a starting point 3-4m from the wall (can be increased as your ability improves)
- Set yourself a target and see if you can beat it.
- Great fun practiced in pairs.
- This plyometric skill will build speed, power and stamina, getting you out of breath very quickly.
- Create a lightweight, low-height hurdle e.g. using upturned plant pots and bamboo cane
- Have a partner time 15s whilst you jump double footed sideways back and forth over the hurdle
- Record how many bounces you complete and see how you progress with a few weeks of practise.
- Simple, yet fundamental skill
- Sprint from one end of your garden to the other, turn quickly and return
- Have a partner time your sprint
- Create a household leader-board of best times
- Another plyometric activity, building explosive leg power and endurance
- Mark a start line then perform 5x double leg frog jumps covering as much horizontal distance as possible
- Try to stay upright after every jump and no cheating, always start each jump from where you landed on the previous.
- After a few weeks you will need a bigger garden
- An endurance activity to get the heart and lungs pumping
- This will really improve your endurance and overall cardiovascular health as a fun way to introduce HIIT
- Mark four corners of your garden
- Sprint diagonally between markers, jogging the horizontals in between.
- One lap is 2x diagonal sprints and 2x horizontal jogs
- Simply keep going until you need a rest, or alternatively, time yourself for a set number of laps
- For great single leg explosivity and power development try this hopping challenge
- Mark a start line and hop 5x for distance ensuring you stay upright and start each hop from the previous landing point
- Measure the distance you cover and watch how you improve with practice
- Try this activity on both legs and compare the results
- Rapid high knees are a fundamental building block for sprinting ability, developing speed and reactive floor contact
- Ask a partner to time 10, 15 or 20s (depending on your ability) and see how many you can manage
- Sprint as fast as you can, reacting quickly off the ground.
- How high can you jump?
- Develop ultimate leg drive and power by jumping as high as you can
- Put coloured chalk on your fingertips then jump as high as you can next to a wall, placing your fingertips as high up the wall as possible
- Measure the jump from the floor to the top of the chalk mark made on the wall