On the 9th May myself and two other Plymouth University students helped out at Ridgeway School. The primary schools in the local area are all in practice for a Tag Rugby event at Marjons. The purpose of the session at Ridgeway was to give the children more coaching and preparation for the big event.
The purpose of myself and the two other students was to be referees to the game. We were told to not be 100% strict on the rules but to give them the experience of playing the game and to learn from their mistakes before the big event.
When arriving at the school at 3pm the sky was grey and rain was begin to come down. Not great conditions to play Tag Rugby. After meeting Claire and a few more introductions we braced the cold weather to set the pitch up. Using cones we created two pitches for the games with colours indicating specific areas of the pitch. The red cones separated the two pitches and as Claire said the children are being taught to know that the colour red means stop. Yellow cones were placed down the sides of the pitch to represent the sidelines which the children could not pass over. White cones indicated the try line which they were obviously aiming for.
As the children arrived moans and groans arrived with them. "It's cold!" "I don't want to go out in the rain!" and so on. Despite this the children put on rain coats and headed outside for the warm ups. We three students made them run, jog, skip their way up and down one pitch and then back to the beginning for stretches. There were 5 schools in total so there was a small part of the field dedicated to skill building and practising which is where I was placed.
In the skill building myself and a year 11 on DofE work led the children into ball throwing activities and running. (The running mainly to keep them warm as most of them were shivering!!) It seemed that the ball throwing is what let them down as some seemed to struggle with the throwing and catching element of the game.
4pm hit and the rain was still pouring down but the children still shivered and shaked their way through games and skill building. At 5.10 the games were all complete and the afternoon was over. Once they were told it was the end they all sped their way indoors for the luxurious heat and warmth.
I absolutely loved doing this event today, despite the horrid weather, and am very thankful that I had the opportunity to do it. I will definitely consider doing something like this again!!