Post Challenge Blues & The Mini SofaDodger Challenge

05 August 2015 20:11:00 By Sam Taylor

Tags: School Sports, Mini SofaDodger Challenge, Getting Active

OK, so it has been three months now since the end of my challenge.  At the end, I did say that I was going to take a month off before starting my timetable of activity, which I was going to take up post-challenge.  It has now been three months and I have essentially spent the time eating, drinking and being extremely inactive, siting “tomorrow” as the day to start my new life. 

All of this procrastination and gluttony has meant that if I carry on in this manner for another three months, I could feasibly audition for Jabba the Hutt’s understudy in the upcoming Star Wars Movie!  Excuses like “my body needs a rest” and “it’s the summer holidays” all came to a grinding halt at the weekend, when I went to a friend’s party and all I felt comfortable wearing was my “fat dress” and the pictures I saw after was devastating, so it starts tomorrow, not “tomorrow”!

Apart from turning myself into the size of a small building, I had the pleasure of awarding my Mini SofaDodgers at the local primary school with their certificates for achieving a certain number of sports in two terms.  For 10 different sports you received a bronze award, 15 a gold, 20 was platinum and for 25 different sports, they received the accolade of being the Ultimate SofaDodger.  The poor mites who achieved this were probably expecting a cape or something but they too got a certificate, just with a different colour on it!

Mini SofaDodgers Accepting Their Certificates

In two terms, the Ultimate Sofadodgers tried everything from rock climbing to table tennis to ultimate Frisbee and they seemed to enjoy keeping a track of what they had done in their own booklets.  The school will be carrying on the theme of trying new sports next term, as they have yet more to try – this is fantastic and definitely what it is all about.  Trying something new and finding out what you enjoy.

These kids are really lucky to have such a supportive school which enabled them to try such a variety, especially as this is set against a backdrop of PE budget cuts in state schools.  Not all parents have been fans of the challenge in the school, as they feel sport has been prioritised over other areas of education.  This hasn’t been the case, as everything has been done in normal PE time, on school camps or in the after school club, so their concerns have been hopefully allayed.

Here I am telling the kids not to be afraid to try new activities

However, what I think was great with this challenge is that you were not judged on your performance but rewarded for trying something and I think that is very important.  Kids, who show a talent at a particular sport, can then take it up further and then be judged on ability i.e. getting selected for a team, badges for swimming or gymnastics. 

What is required, I feel, is that kids are given the opportunity to sample as many different pursuits as possible.  As I found in my own challenge, it is easy to talk yourself out of something by saying “you can’t” do something, or feel that trying something will make you look silly.  By trying something early, children will hopefully not take on a certain preconception of an activity into their teenage years and beyond.

I plan to take part in the National Sports Consultation document which the Government are proposing to turn around the downward trend of participation numbers declining since the hoo-ha of the Olympic Games.  If you would like to give your opinion, you can visit the following link.  It is important to have an opinion but it is more important that it is heard. 

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SofaDodger - Sam - Bio
My name is Sam. I am a 35 year old, unfit, gym-phobic, mother of 3, who enjoys indulging in a glass of wine or two. I started the website sofadodger.co.uk this year, which is ironic as I am more a sofadweller than a sofadodger. So I have taken on the challenge of trying 100 different sports and fitness classes in a year. I shall be blogging about, what will be, one of the most interesting and challenging years of my life!

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