You will need
- Masking tape
- Device to play music
Before you begin
- Anyone who’s part of a sports club or working towards their Athletics Plus Badge should be encouraged to come to this session ready to lead a cool-down exercise for the group. They should also be ready to explain what core muscle groups are working in each movement and why it’s important to cool-down.
- If they like, they could prepare an appropriate cool-down playlist to play in the session.
- The person leading the activity could go online and have a look at the five major muscle groups. Check that the routines chosen for this session, either by them or by the cool-down leaders, work all five of the muscle groups.
Run the activity
- Everyone should help make a course out of upturned tables and chairs, buckets, baskets and whatever other obstacles are available. The course should run the length of the meeting place. The person leading the activity should risk assess the course as it’s created and being used.
- Cut lengths of string that are at least as long as the width of your meeting place. These should be pinned to pinboards, taped to surfaces and tied around the handles of obstacles on both sides of the course. Each length of string should run diagonally, vertically or horizontally to block any easy route.
- Someone should test out the course. Check for weak points and areas where the difficulty of the course can be adjusted. Make sure that all of the lengths of string are firmly secured.
- The person leading the activity should set up the audio device and speakers somewhere out of bounds, where it doesn’t interfere with the course, and start the music.
- Everyone should line up and take turns to try and complete the course. Each person who attempts the course should complete it without touching the string. Those who prepared some cool-down exercises should stand at different parts of the course and lead those attempting the course in some stretching and cool-down routines as they go. Each routine should last at least 30 seconds
- There’s no rush to complete the course, so everyone should take extra care not to touch any of the strings. If anyone does, they should start again from the beginning.
This activity made cooling down after exercise into a challenge. Cooling down after strenuous exercise, like sport, is really important to relax muscles and reduce heart-rate. Why might it be important to do this, rather than just sitting down to rest? Everyone should check their heart and breathing rates. If the cool-down worked, both of these should have reduced since the exercise took place.
- Active games
The game area should be free of hazards. Explain the rules of the game clearly and have a clear way to communicate that the game must stop when needed.
Supervise young people appropriately when they’re using scissors. Store all sharp objects securely, out of the reach of young people.