Hello to all the children, parents and guardians,
understand that many of the children are really missing playing sports for their school and local teams during these difficult times of lockdown . Hopefully, it won’t be too long before the children are back playing competitive sport but in the mean-time, we have decided to organize our own 'skill challenges' for the children of our school which will hopefully help motivate the children to keep exercising and practicing their skills. We organised ‘skill challenges’ last year during the first lockdown and received a really enthusiastic response so hopefully the children will be really excited to take part in the challenges again this year and maybe we will have some new participants eager to impress also!
What do these ‘skill challenges’ entail? Below, I will outline the specifics of each challenge but basically you have to make a video of the children trying the challenge and then you have to email it to my email address : firstname.lastname@example.org The winning videos for each challenge will be posted to the school website as well as a montage video of all the videos sent in so if your child enters a video, there will be a clip of it on the website. Every child who sends a video will receive a special mention on the website whether they win the competition or not. Any child who enters one of the skills challenge competitions will also receive a HOMEWORK PASS which they can save for when they return to school!
The skills that will be required in the challenges will be related to Gaelic Football, Hurling, Soccer, Basketball, Gymnastics and Tao Kwondo. Many of the children in the school already play these sports so I am sure they will be excited to give the challenges a try but I want to stress that anybody who wants to give the challenges a go is more than welcome. Hopefully, we will have a challenge to suit children of all ages and abilities. Some of the challenges will be similar to the challenges that we had last year but there will also be some new challenges. There will be a huge variety of options so I am sure the children will be able to find a challenge that appeals to them. Get someone to video you for each challenge.
1) Our first set of challenges are related to Gaelic football. The categories are as follows : (A) Fifth/sixth class girls, (B) Fifth/Sixth class boys, (C) Third/Fourth Class girls, (D) Third/Fourth Class boys, (E) First/Second Class girls, (F) First/Second Class boys.
Challenge 1. Who can do the most standing solos in 30 seconds? The challenge will be especially difficult for the Third Class to Sixth Class children as they have to do a right-footed solo and then a left-footed solo and to be able to alternate feet for the whole 30 seconds. The First and Second Class children only have to keep soloing with their stronger foot if they do not feeling comfortable alternating feet. Make sure who ever takes the video is counting! This challenge may be too difficult for any of the children from the infant classes but they are more than welcome to try!
(Regarding challenges 2-4 the children may need access to open spaces like a Green area or Corcagh Park. For this reason, I must stress how important it is to continue to follow the proper 'social distancing' guidelines.)
Challenge 2: This challenge is aimed at First Class to Sixth Class. All you have to do is do 5 solos running at full speed without dropping the ball. Anyone who can manage to do this will have their soloing shown on the montage video.
Challenge 3: Best Overhead Catch! Last year, this challenge was just ‘best catch’. However, the challenge is a little more difficult this time. The children cannot just catch the ball on their chest. They have to catch a high ball going past them with their arms over their head! The overhead catch is the one of the most difficult skills in Gaelic Football. You will need a partner to kick a high ball into you from long range. The person who makes the most spectacular catch from the biggest kick will be the winner. For children who are Second Class and under a ‘chest catch’ will suffice.
Challenge 4: Shooting challenge. Find a green area where there is lots of space and no people around. Set up a goals that is approximately the width of the school goalposts. You can do this by using jumpers or sticks or any other visible objects you can find. The challenge is to score a long range point with your weaker foot. We are requesting that children from Fifth and Sixth class attempt to score from 10 - 30 metres. Children from Second, Third and Fourth Class can attempt to score a point from 10-20 metres out. However, I stress that if older children would prefer to shoot from closer in that would be acceptable and if younger children believe that they can score from further out, they are more than welcome to attempt this also. Finally, if you can pull off this feat twice in a row, that would be a bonus.
Challenge 5: Cross Bar Challenge : Find one of the old Gaa goalposts in Corcagh park or the pitches close to the swimming pool and try and kick a ball out of your hand from 15-30 metres and hit the cross bar! Younger children can come closer.
Challenge 6 : Ball in the Bin Challenge: See if you can kick a ball into a wheely bin from at least 8 metres away.
(2) Soccer: The 'KEEPY-UPPIES challenge! The categories will remain the same as with the 'Solos' challenge. The children will be required to tap the football up as many times as they can with their feet, knees or head without letting the ball drop to the floor. The person who is able to achieve the most taps/touches without letting the ball drop will be the winner! (N.B Do not let your friends know how many Keepy-Uppies you got before you send your entry as they will now know how many they will need to beat!)
Soccer: Cross Bar Challenge : Can you chip a ball from the ground from at least 15 - 20 metres out onto the cross bar?
Soccer Tricks: Make a video of your best soccer tricks!
(3) Hurling and Camoige :
Pick-up Challenge : Who can do the most 'pick-ups' in 30 seconds? You simply lift up the sliotar/tennis ball into your hands with the hurl as many times as you can in 30 seconds.
Best Catch : Who can catch a sliotar that has been hit to you from at least 15-20 metres? The further away the sliotar has travelled, the better the catch!
Puc Fáda : Who can do the longest puc?? (You can also try the ‘puc the sliotar into the wheeley bin if you feel capable of doing it).
(4) Running :
Sprint Challenge :
This will take place on the green outside the school. The child has to start the sprint from the edge of the green on the church side of the green and sprint towards the flower bed on the school side of the green. The flower bed is the end point! Ask a parent or sibling to time you!
Long Distance Running Challenge : Go to Corcagh Park or the fields close to the swimming pool. Find one of the football pitches there. The challenge is that you have to run from one Goalpost to the next Goal post and BACK! Get someone to time you! If you won’t have an opportunity to go to Corcagh Park, maybe you could do a full lap of the Green area in front of the school! You could set markers in similar spots to where we have set the markers during running trials at school.
(Children of all ages can try these running challenges and we would like to see as many children as possible give this challenge a try as it is good for their fitness. They might need a little practice first, however).
(5)Tae Kwondo : We are simply requesting that the children make an approximately 30 second video demonstrating their best Tae Kwondo skills. We received some amazing videos last year so we are really looking forward to seeing what the children produce this year!
(6) Basketball : 'Dribbling between the legs'. From the standing position, the children will be asked to bounce the ball through their legs from their right hand to their left hand as many times as possible within 30 seconds. The child who can do the most bounces without 'double dribbling' is the winner.
‘Baskets Challenge’ : This is only relevant if you have access to a basketball board. See if you can score 5 free shots in a row!
(7) Press-ups : The person who can do the most (correct)Press-ups in 30 seconds will be the winner. A seven year old won this event last year and a 5 year old finished second so let’s see if the older kids can give the younger kids more of a challenge this year!
(8) Gymnastics : This is a new category this year. We are simply asking for an approximately 30 second video of your child performing their best gymnastics skills!
(9) High Jump : Ask your parents/siblings to hold a skipping rope out (or something similar)and try and jump over it. Get them to raise the rope until you reach your limit so we can see how high you can actually jump. However, make sure you try this activity over soft ground where you have lots of space.
(10) Extra activities for the infants : A parent, guardian or family member throws a ball to the child from 3-5 metres. The child throws (or fist passes) the ball back as quickly as possible. The child who achieves the most catches in 30 seconds will be the winner. However, if any of the parents/guardians feel like the child may be able to attempt any of the other challenges in this email, they are free to make a video of that too. For example, the child can try any of the catching or kicking challenges but from shorter distances.
(11) If anyone has any snooker, darts, tennis, table tennis or any other sporting talents that they would like to show us, feel free to email me a video of that too.
I understand that not every child plays these sports (most children won't have a hurl or a basketball, for example) so if they have any other athletic or sporting skills that they would like to demonstrate , they are free to send a video of that. The challenges are open to the children of all the classes. However, it is not compulsory to take part in these challenges. We would love to see as many children as possible rise to the challenge and anyone who does attempt a challenge will receive a special mention on the school website and a homework pass when we return to school. The children are also entitled to take part in as many of the challenges as they like but we cannot guarantee that we will be able to put up all of their videos on the website. However, we will provide a special treat for the child who sends the most videos. Hopefully, some of the children will use these challenges as an opportunity to keep active and improve their skills.
The closing date for the challenge will be March 8th. ALL entries MUST be sent to my email email@example.com. Please don’t send the entries to the school email. You are not required to send all the video entries in the one email as the children might only want to focus on one challenge at a time. There are so many talented athletes and sports enthusiasts in our school so hopefully many of the children will be very eager to take part. Best of luck to all the children who decide to give the challenges a go!
Thank you all for your time and please feel free to get in touch if you have any further questions.