Handball Activator Course

On 5th February I travelled to Haggerston School in Hackney, to attend a Handball and Basketball Activator course organised by Club Works. The purpose was I love all aspects of tennis but I would really like to inspire other players to try out different sports, as the skills you have in tennis can be applied to other sports, so your skills can develop while socialising with likeminded individuals.











It was a turbulent travel experience due to the District line having engineering works being carried out at West Ham, so instead of getting one train I had to get two trains (the Central and the Jubilee) to get to Haggerston School where the courses took place.

I arrived at 10 am and, after as short introduction, we began with the fundamentals of movement (warm ups) until 11:30 am. We then played while learning the rules of handball until 1pm. 

It was fun and very informative (as I learnt many games I could use with the children at my club Hylands). 

After a well needed lunch at 1pm. I took part in the basketball activator course, from 2 to 5pm. As some new people joined for the basketball course we repeated the same activities for the fundamentals of movement as we did in the handball activator earlier. Although the warm up activities were like those we had learnt for the handball course, I drew some positives from them, as this practice reinforced the correct routine to follow in my mind and this would be useful when delivering ad-hoc activities at Hylands. 

For the rest of the basketball course, we worked together in small teams, leading our own basketball games; this was useful as it helped improved our leadership and team working skills. One interesting game I would like to mention was basketball dance competition in which for a couple of minutes we performed a short routine with 3 other members.  To my surprise the course tutor deemed our routine to be the best.

Overall I enjoyed the two courses; despite being exhausted now. I will receive certificates for completing both and gained some informative booklets from Street games who are a sport charity helping disadvantaged communities.











Their role on these courses are to make sport accessible and increase the number of leaders who can help provide sport back into their communities. For example, Street Games mentions the promise “by making sport available in the right place, at the right time, for the right price and in the right style.”  This was particularly evident as the courses were available FREE!

Personally, I prefer handball than basketball because it is fast paced and more freedom is provided as there is more space to play within. However, I seemed to be better at basketball as I scored some 3 pointers (long range throws in the hoops) gaining some praise from my teammates with a high five. 

It was also quite fascinating meeting so many different people with different ages, social, and ethnic backgrounds. 

I am look forward to trying to implement handball as part of Hyland’s Ad-hoc activities, I hope you can join us!

Aidan LTA Level 1 Coach


Video games as a tool for learning

... Or, how sitting on your backside could help you to perform better... off it

Upon reading Adriano's blog about sport in an age of social media I was reminded of a blog I wrote for my undergraduate studies back in 2013 about the potential positive uses of video games for learning.  

At the time I was debating the use of homework setting within my coaching and thought I would give it a go on myself. I decided to try and learn how to play a sport that was completely alien to me, and the sport I chose was American Football. My first bit of self-administered homework was to familiarise myself with the sport to a very basic and fundamental level before I turned up to the first training session. So obviously my first port of call was the high street shop GAME, where I went and bought myself Madden NFL (the biggest game brand for American Football) for my PlayStation. When I first started playing it my Mum asked "What's going on dear?" to which I replied "I honestly have NO idea!" But after sticking with it and playing for a bit longer I eventually began to get the hang of it. The rules and plays and tactics were all starting to become more clear to me, some things still elude me however, but I was astonished at how quickly I was beginning to learn about the sport without physically playing it, and without being in the presence of a human coach. Which got me thinking, have games been seen to aid learning in the past?












During my research into the matter I came across Gabe Zichermann's TED talk on Gamification, it is an enlightening video in it's entirety, however for a quick example of a successful implementation of games-based learning watch from 07:38 - 09:08. 


Also within the clip he says that games don't make children violent, however they will make those with a violent predisposition become better at being violent, therefore it can be suggested that those with a predisposition to other things, such as sporting activities, can also become better at those things via games. With this in mind, it is possible to use this notion within sports coaching thanks to the ever growing array of sport video games, which would be great for beginners to learn the rules and the basics. However, as far as tennis games are concerned I would suggest steering people away from such things as Wii Sports, as in my experience of tennis coaching it makes kids think the technique is to sit on a chair and flick your wrist left and right, up and down, which simply isn't the case. Therefore, I wouldn't use games for technique development, but tactical development and to understand the rules. I understand that not all might be able to afford a games console and games, so perhaps the renting of a hall of some sort could be arranged and a games night organised, which hopefully will help the kids to socialise with each other too. 

Saying this however I have found this article from 2009  Next Generation Gaming Consoles  that tells us that 8 out of 10 households have a next-gen games console, and I imagine that number would only have increased since; so perhaps it is not too unrealistic or unreasonable to set this type of homework task after all.

I have read into the use of games and learning quite a bit and the most useful and extensive pieces of work on it that I could find are that of Mitchell and Savill-Smith (2004) The use of games for learning and the information provided by the MIT Scheller Teacher Education Program and Education Arcade Better learning in games 

I would highly recommend giving these a look if this post has raised concepts that are of interest to you. As I have gained a well-rounded understanding of the use of games and learning, such as that too much time spent gaming can negatively impact development therefore I would suggest setting a specific amount of time for the performers to spend on the game and ask parents to monitor this as much as possible. 

By Luke Anthony Ellis

Volunteers Involvement Programme


The dilemma of sport for personal development of young people – in the age of social media dominance over other aspects of multimodal personal development.











 Do you ever worry that too much time spent online may thwart young people’s development? Well, here’s my view on how to prevent this potential issues.

Sport not only brings healthy physical changes to your body but brings a lot of advantages to your mental health as well. Sport is the fun way of exercise and it is essential for a healthy life being. When you are breaking a sweat playing a game of football, tennis or simply running, you end up stimulating different areas of the brain. Indulging in physical activity releases endorphins that make you feel optimistic and happy. Sport gives you a healthy option to stay active and happy.

Sport is a form of exercise with the fun element that often acts as an instant mood transformer. Ever feel annoyed and a good run, walk or few laps in the pool make you feel better right away? That is what a healthy activity like tennis does to you. When you get together with friends and family for frequent games it establishes a sense of connectivity, a unique bonding.

Tennis is undoubtedly one of the healthiest sports known. There is no age limit and one can start with it any time. Its tough, active, engages your whole body. It is not only a great form of exercise and staying active, it keeps numerous health conditions like blood pressure, diabetes and cardiovascular problems at bay. The changes that you feel after a good game have immense benefits both on your physical and mental health and these changes boost your self-esteem and confidence.

At Hylands parents are advised to encourage sporting habits in their children from a young age and this form of exercise should be on a consistent basis and not only for physical benefits. Studies reveal a positive correlation between the physical activity of children and their mental development. As children indulge in organized sport they share, work and win together. The social aspects of physical activities aid in developing teamwork and positive values which are carried all their life.

But the importance of sports and how it benefits a child’s development is being put on the back shelf. With so many distractions available in the form of games, internet, children rarely go out and are not too keen in physical activities. Too much internet usage is making the youth of today addicted to the internet that is altering the structure of the brain. Changes have been seen in the white matter of the brain as well through which messages are transmitted to different areas of grey matter in the nervous system.

Though the internet was originally created to connect people and socialise, people have actually become more isolated. Internet addiction makes you indulge in irregular eating habits, lazy, weight gain and also lead to carpal tunnel syndrome. Internet addiction results in dry eye syndrome and when the eyes are continuously bombarded with light and stimulation of computer, one could get ocular motor dysfunction.

Children have lessened going out and playing sports with friends. Sitting in front of computer constantly has resulted in irregular bedtime habits and back/neck aches. This needs to be taken care of right away. Hylands’ view is that parents should establish strict rules and encourage their children and themselves too to add physical activity like exercise and sports in their daily life and this should start now from early age so that kids grow mentally and physically strong.

Do you have a different but constructive view from the one outlined above? Then we’d love to hear from you.

Adriano Giordano

(Hylands Volunteers Involvement Programme)

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Community Champion rewarded

Giorgio Federico Bugnatelli, a business analyst in finance, has been awarded an honorary British Empire Medal (B.E.M.) in the honorary British awards for charitable services to Hylands Community Amateur Sports Club.

Giorgio’s work included:

  • Developing tennis in Hylands Park since 1990 and setting up a Community Amateur Sports Club in 2002 on a not for profit basis.
  • Merging the club with a local Academy (formerly a Secondary School) in 2013.
  • Instrumental role in raising near to £400,000 for the new facilities and over £90,000 of donations in kind.
  • Facilities include six tennis courts and two multi use games areas all floodlit.
  • Developing an all embracing sport development programme for all ages and abilities with a focus on tennis.
  • Empowering young people by setting up and running a communication and organisation accredited course and providing invaluable volunteering experience.
  • Setting up a Satellite club for girls only bridging the gap between club, schools and the local community.
  • Creating a lasting legacy through the furtherance of sport and protecting the common good.


On his award Giorgio said:

"Being recognised for my efforts in the community outside my substantive professional career is a great honour. As a first generation immigrant, it has always been important to me to contribute to my local community. I was clear at the outset that I wanted to set up a tennis club where young people could not only learn and play but also have the opportunity of developing as confident and balanced individuals. A place to play where we could create a community and not just money. I am delighted that 26 years later, we have a fully accredited multi sport community hub specialising in tennis and which is democratically managed by stakeholders without the need for managers and leaders. In short, no bosses, no profits for shareholders and no nonsense and this concept seems to work well for us."


The British Empire Medal:

The British Empire Medal was reinstated in 2012 to mark the Queen's Diamond Jubilee and it recognises those who have contributed in a major way to their local community either through their voluntary work or job. Recipients are entitled to use the letters 'B.E.M.' after their name.


LTA Quorn Family Tennis Cup at Hylands

Hylands tennis club hosted the Quorn Family Tennis Cup Red Ball competition on Sunday 22 May. The competition format is based on tennis doubles pairing children 10 and Under with a family member. The event at Hylands was won by Phil and Keon Akerman and they earned the opportunity of a day out at a Quorn Family Tennis Cup event held on the qualifying weekend of a LTA grass court major event in May or June. Each pair will have the chance to play against other winners on the day as well as watch the professional players in action. 

Club administrator, Giorgio Bugnatelli, said: “We welcome the opportunity of hosting this type of events as they align perfectly well with our ongoing objectives to facilitate tennis for children and their families. We are grateful to Quorn for their generosity and to the LTA for endorsing this informal and fun event, which was well received by local families.” 

Hylands is a not for profit Community Amateur Sports Club, which is LTA Tennismark accredited and a tennis provider of choice for a number of local schools. 

For more information about Hylands, please visit: www.hylandstennis.co.uk  

For more information about the Quorn Family Tennis Cup, please visit: https://www.lta.org.uk/competitions/family/quorn-family-tennis-cup/

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