Badge Support | Sports Activity Badges
By challenging your Scouts to take part in a Sports Activity Badge, you’ll help them to lay the groundwork for an active, happy lifestyle – building confidence as they master key life skills such as cooperation, conflict resolution, and learning how to win and lose gracefully.
The Beaver Sports Activity Badge is a great springboard to get the whole Section active. For requirement one, Beavers need to play a team sport in their colony. This could be something Beavers will likely be familiar with, like football, basketball, rounders, cricket, netball, rugby or volleyball - or it could be something less conventional. Take a look at this full list of accredited sports from Sport England for inspiration.
Research from Sport England shows that one of the main drivers for young people disengaging or quitting sport is the perception that there are no activities suited to their interests or skillset. Sampling fun, unusual activities like Ultimate Frisbee can therefore help to change young people’s perceptions of sport. It can also show them that sport can serve multiple purposes in their lives, like helping them to make new and interesting friends or to burn off some steam after a busy school day.
In a competitive society, it can be hard to keep track of what it means to be a good sport, but it’s important to remember that showing kindness is a winning strategy, regardless of the end score. This video talks about what being a good sport means in more depth, unpacking topics like why losing can be just as valuable as winning, and why it’s important not to cheat. For requirement one, why not ask your young people to write down or draw what being a good sport means to them, and chat about it as a group?
To complete requirements two, four and five, Cubs need to tell their leader about the sports they take part in; outlining the rules of the game, the training and preparation they do, and the equipment they use. For requirement four, they should also bring their clothing and equipment to a meeting and show how they look after them. If multiple young people in the Section are taking part in the badge, this could be a great opportunity to put on a ‘show and tell’ evening, where young people take it in turns to talk about the sports they love. To highlight the diversity of sporting activities available, you could also invite some local sportspeople to visit the Section and sample activities.
To build excitement around the topic of sport more generally, you could talk about any major upcoming events. The 2020 Olympic Games will be prime example of the amazing things the human body is capable of and the great places athletics can take you, while the 2019 Rugby World Cup is sure to be an international spectacle.
The Physical Recreation Activity Badge is perfect for sporty Scouts. Whether they decide to pursue a team sport such as rugby or water polo, or to do something more solitary like yoga or dancing, Scouts develop an expertise, reaping physical and mental rewards in the process.
To earn their badges, Scouts need to show a reasonable level of skill in their sport or pursuit, improving over time and explaining the rules or guidelines. They’ll also need to show how they would prepare for their chosen activity, including choosing appropriate clothing and taking care of any equipment they use. They could discuss this with a leader, or perform a show and tell for the group outlining their sport and what it entails.
To get everyone thinking about the physical activities they’d like to pursue, you could chat about sportspeople you admire as a group. Were any of them Scouts? If so, how might the skills they learned through Scouting have helped them get to where they are today?
You could point to some Scout Ambassadors and Scout Adventurers for inspiration. The recent Arch to Arctic expedition, in which Scout Adventurers Robert McArthur and Poldy van Lynden set off from on a world first expedition from London to Svalbard - using human power alone - is a magnificent feat. Similarly, fellow Scout Adventurer Karen Darke and Scout Ambassador Ellie Simmons OBE are living proof of the incredible feats humans can achieve, excelling in their paralympian sports and changing perceptions along the way.
Completing the Physical Recreation Activity Badge is a great way for Explorer Scouts to get active while developing a healthy drive towards self-improvement and having fun. To earn their badges, Explorer Scouts aim to improve their performance over 6 to 12 months. Specific guidance and badge requirements are provided for some potential options, but the badge is flexible.
According to leading research on sports participation from Sports England, young people aged 14-18 are at a higher risk of losing interest in sport as other demands on their time (such as revising for exams and socialising) take precedence. Taking on sports as part of their Scout programme can therefore be a great way to combine socialising with keeping active, allowing young people to better juggle the two demands.
If they’re new to sport and unsure of where to start, you could help them sample some more unconventional and unexpected sports and wellness activities, such as yoga, to showcase the diversity of options on offer and remind everyone that sport can serve multiple purposes in their lives, improving their mental wellbeing as well as their physical abilities and strength.
Make sure to check out scouts.org.uk/a-z to see if there are any specific rules and/or guidance on how to take part in a particular sport or physical activity through Scouting.