SPORT | ED will be launching 3 new Rainbow programs that have never been seen in China before. Aimed at children aged only 3-6 years old, the programs incorporate new specialised equipment, balls, rackets, nets and very specific teaching methods.
Rainbow Early Years
This is a brand new program, introduced by SE for the first time in China. And for the first time children aged just 3-5 years old have the chance to get a taste for sports, learn new skills and make friends.
As well as a curriculum focused on general coordination and motor skills, at this age its about learning to follow instructions, understand corrections and feel the improvements.
The lesson takes place on a tennis court or in any open space such as aerobics room or squash courts as there are no nets involved at this point. Many different items of equipment are used to help support the children, keep them focused and allow them to balance alone while hitting, throwing and blocking. They use specialised rackets (15″) or pom do, which is a plastic glove and instead of normal balls; light “beach like” inflatable balls (100% slower than normal tennis balls) and balloons in order to give them more time to swing and therefore more participation.
And, for the Early Year Program only, we allow parents to volunteer to be on court, helping children to follow the exercises and keeping general order during the lesson. This is truly a unique program in China and we look forwards to seeing it grow.
This is another brand new program from SE. Aimed at children 5-6 years old, it is one step up from the Early Year Program. For this program the curriculum focuses on movement and change of direction while receiving or hitting a ball. Being able to move your feet while not looking down and focusing on an object (tennis ball) is a key skill needed to go to the next level where rallying with a parter is the main goal of the game.
This program also utilises very special adapted equipment to allow students the time and control to learn the correct technique and skills. The adapted rackets are 17″ and the balls are 26″ white and 95% slower than a normal tennis ball. It is recommended to be rolled on the ground engaging rally activity but it can also bounce nicely with a very soft texture. There is still no net required at this stage of development, but students start to learn how to move the ball around with the rackets, understanding the energy the ball has and how to control it.
This is the 3rd and last new program introduced to China by SE. Aimed at children 6-7 years old, this program starts to use a mini net with clear court outlines. There is much less stationary feeding drills and much more about player collaboration and participation which means players start to understand rally concept, in and out and friendly competition.
With mini rackets (19″) and played on a mini court with purple balls which are 90% slower than a normal tennis ball (15cm), players are able to lift the ball, rally and compete with each other thanks to the age adapted size making the sweet spot larger and contact easier. This is the perfect transition program before Rainbow Red, where you can start to compete in mini tournaments.