Switch is a hybrid sport that
combines 5 Olympic sports;
Football, Basketball, Netball,
Volleyball and Handball.
It can be played by teams of 3, 5 or 7 players. There are 2 switch lines on the pitch, once you pass these lines, you switch from using your hands to using your feet, or vice versa. Switch is one of the few available sports that combine eye to hand and hand to foot
co-ordination. Because it is such a fast-paced and high concentration game, it has a positive effect on children's mental and physical development, as well as being very beneficial for inclusion purposes. However, Switch has also proven very popular amongst adults and is one of the few team sports where you can have children and adults playing on the same team, so we often have families play this game altogether.
Switch was created by ex-professional football coach,
Danny Hibbert, after being inspired by the 2012 London
Olympics. He started teaching it at his local primary school,
ARK Bentworth in White City, West London. In 2013, he then
created a company called The Whole Picture, which taught
Switch among many other sports and workshops that local
children could partake in for free during the school holidays.
These were put on in an attempt to keep them busy, engaged,
active and socialising with children of different ages, races,
backgrounds and areas during the holidays. Aside from this
being a fun, active and safe place for children to be whilst they
were off school, it was also designed to encourage social
mobility and prevent children from being involved in gang
culture and postcode wars.
Switch then started to be played as a warm up game for Shepherd's Bush United Football Clubs, which Danny started in 2005. He noticed how Switch helped his players with teamwork, movement off the ball, concentration, ball control and pace. So, he told sports clubs about Switch and was subsequently invited to deliver sessions at Queens Park Rangers FC Academy, Watford Ladies FC and the Racer's Track Club in Kingston, Jamaica - Usain Bolt's home training ground. He and co-director, Lucy Wragg, worked with Team Jamaica to teach Switch to their young, aspiring athletes to provide them with a fun, team sport that could help the athletes with teamwork, coordination and agility.
Switch has now been played by over 6,000 people, providing a wide range of Switch sessions, mainly consisting of P.E. lessons, after school clubs, festivals and community programmes.
Switch is a very inclusive sport that can be enjoyed by everyone. It has proved very popular in schools, youth clubs, sports clubs and community clubs. As well as attracting sporty participants, it has particularly worked well in attracting families and non-sporty people of all ages and abilities. This has resulted in Switch being used for P.E. sessions and After School Clubs in Primary and Secondary schools, as well as community sessions where families play Switch altogether. Switch is also a great team-building sport that can help to bring people together in a wealth of different environments, including workplaces.
Participants have told us that Switch has
helped them with;
- Wellbeing / Fitness levels
- Co ordination / Ball control
- Increased school attendance
- Improved behaviour
- Strengthened relationships
- Teamwork / Team morale
- Communication skills
- Social mobility
- Promoting equality
- Reducing social isolation
It has also been proven that children with a physically active lifestyle are;
- Less likely to smoke
- To become pregnant in their teenage years
- 15% more likely to go to college
- Get an average of 40% higher test results
- Reduce NHS costs by reducing the risk of diabetes, heart disease, stroke and cancer.
In addition, the increased availability of sport within a community has also been proven to decrease knife crime, postcode wars and childhood obesity levels. We also want to give teenagers aged 16+ the chance to do work experience with us. We will teach them how to coach and play Switch and give them the platform needed to further a career in coaching.
Below is a video from our coaches, James Burnett and Kane Torbett, explaining how their experience coaching at Switch Sports has helped them: