Sports Within Schools

Sports thrills and life skills: Enhancing your curriculum with a multi use games area

Sport has come a long way in schools. Gone are the bad old days of freezing children reluctantly running around on a miserable, out of date pitch with red noses and even bluer legs. 21st century facility advances – from versatile all-weather pitches to innovative rubber running tracks – mean new opportunities for a truly integrated sporting education. Public expectations of diverse programs that accommodate every pupil’s level of sporting interest and ability have never been higher. But with many schools facing dramatically increasing intakes and a lack of available space, it’s often not viable option to provide separate facilities to meet specific demands for everything from floodlighting to 3G pitches.

The innovative solution for schools in this situation is a multi use games area – a versatile facility that can adjust to a plethora of sporting requirements. From football to netball, hockey to tennis, multi use games areas are constructed to adapt beautifully to the variety of sporting activities that  pupils want to enjoy. With a huge range of all weather surfaces, secure sports fences and even floodlighting all achievable within one facility, a multi use games area (or MUGA) is the ideal sporting innovation for any school with limited grounds. What’s more, by applying creative thinking and a holistic approach, your new MUGA can be used to enhance all aspects of your curriculum whilst offering pupils the chance to discover their personal sporting passion.

Encourage healthy sports all year round with an all weather surface

The British winter is traditionally the enemy of school sports, with miserable conditions stopping outdoor sessions throughout the long, dark months. No longer do school sports schedules have to face irksome interruptions. The advent of pioneering all weather surfaces enables play to continue even after heavy rain or in slippery conditions. Ensuring your multi use games area incorporates the appropriate all weather pitch will result in comprehensive sporting activities all year around. Such continuity has a vital impact on the ability of youngsters to develop their physical abilities continuously, and hence maximises their opportunity to excel.

Ensure special needs inclusiveness in your multi use games area

Special educational needs and disabled pupils are increasingly integrated into mainstream education, and sport should be no exception. When planning a multi sport area, specialist surfaces and facilities can be incorporated to accommodate disabled players. In particular, type 1/2 synthetic sports surfacing has the resilience to incorporate wheelchair sports – as well as the benefit of requiring little maintenance over a lifespan of 10 years. Maximising special needs facilities within your MUGA  results in vital inclusion in all area of school life. It also provides an opportunity for integrated competition – and hence enhanced understanding and interaction between disabled and able-bodied students. The English Federation of Disability in Sport gives useful information to help you plan your inclusion policy.

Get your students inspired with creative use of your multi-use games area

The beauty of the MUGA approach lies in it’s complete versatility – and an exciting choice of activities will be appreciated by keen young minds. Encouraging students to take ownership of their multi sports area and come up with pro-active ideas for its use is bound to promote a healthy level of curiosity and competition. Floodlighting and all weather pitches enable adaptability to extra curricular activities and secondary uses, from inter-school football tournaments to Christmas entertainment extravaganzas! Ensuring student involvement in the creativity and logistics behind a range of activities can bring out key qualities such as leadership and enterprise, giving them practical experience in so much more than sport itself.

Facilitate creative experiences with curriculum activities based around your MUGA

When considering holistic curriculum delivery, not all the action has to be on the pitch. If your students are inspired by the possibilities their new multi sports area has opened up, encourage them to take that beyond the sports pitch and into every aspect of their learning. If there’s a competitive tournament coming up, why not have them develop their ICT skills by designing a website to track the league? Run a competition for the most inventive use of the facility, with contestants presenting their ideas in assembly to develop public speaking skills. Develop creative writing by asking all pupils to describe their most challenging experience on and off the pitch. The possibilities for cross curricular impact are endless, and with the creativity of youth behind it your multi sports area can be used to help every aspect of school life fly.

Schools across the country are turning to multi sports areas to develop a thriving community in their sports curriculum and beyond. Get all the information you need about ETC Sports’ specialist multi use games areas here.