Helping youngsters try some alternative sports

Youngsters from the Alternative Activities Club in Eastbourne

Youngsters from the Alternative Activities Club in Eastbourne

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SPORTS club Alternative Activities is offering primary school children a range of interesting sports they would never normally try.

The club, which runs after school clubs for many of the town’s primary schools, currently has eight sports on offer.

Each one has been hand-picked to promote teamwork, trust, fair play, confidence, creative thinking, independence, problem solving, communication and enjoyment.

Alternative Activities has been set up by Charlie Longuehaye, who has been involved in keeping kids active for the last seven years, and her business partner Jane Hales.

Charlie studied sport and exercise science at the University of Brighton, focussing on PE in schools.

She said, “My goal is to help youngsters enjoy being active and help them discover the talents and abilities that they have had all along.”

One of the most popular sports available is Street Surfing and Eastbourne’s Alternative Activities were recently featured in a BBC Breakfast television feature for their use of the new sport, along with some London schools. The board used in street surfing is a two-wheeled skateboard-style board.

Charlie said, “Street Surfing is great for naughty or sporty kids and gets them out down the seafront doing something different, fun and active. Over the year we believe we have taught more than 100 children and a few willing teachers this great new skill.”

The children also have the opportunity to try other lesser-known activities including kin ball, rock-it-ball, tri-golf, indoor kurling and tchoukball.

Charlie says the emphasis is on the taking part and not the winning. Alternative Activities also aim to include all children in their sessions.

Charlie said, “We started the company in 2011 with the idea in mind that there are more children that feel they cannot achieve in sport then there are children that feel comfortable and confident in sport, exercise and activity. Our aim is to break that mould.

“We have soon confirmed that inclusion is a huge part of what we do. From working with disabled adults and the children of South Down Special School to offering training sessions to PE teachers in East Sussex.”

Ten schools and Sussex Downs College are currently working with Alternative Activities. For more visit www.altactivities.com.