Home Ed. Sharks - An Interview With Immy Sharp
Immy Sharp set up the Home Ed. Sharks back in August 2019 and have been growing at light speed pace, with 18 players and 3 coaches in 12 months!
We caught up with Immy to find out her motivations for setting up Home Ed. Sharks, to find out what experiences she enjoyed, what challenges she faced and what their ambitions are for the future.
Read on to see what she shared with us:
What made you want to set up a dodgeball club?
I’ve always been home educated and when I was younger enjoyed sport and fitness games at home education activity groups. However, in these sessions the focus was always on having fun and trying lots of new things.
I’m a very competitive person and as I got older this view of sport started to frustrate me as all I really wanted to do was to play one sport consistently and compete against other teams. At the time, though, this just wasn’t an option for me within the home ed. world.
Last year I started thinking about the possibility of using dodgeball to show home educated kids that sport can be competitive as well as just a fun activity. I went to the British Dodgeball Schools Competition to referee and gain some more experience with the Under 11 rules.
I then talked to two of my home educated friends who play in the same Under 16 team as me and we decided to set up the Home Ed. Sharks as a club for home educated children.
How have local people reacted to your club?
Local people have reacted really well to the club. There’s been a lot of interest within the home educated community and we currently have a pretty long waiting list.
Have your members played dodgeball before or are they new to the sport?
A few of our members had played dodgeball at various activity groups and a couple who had been to school had some experience of playing the game. However, none of them had ever played the proper British Dodgeball rules.
What did you find challenging about setting up your club?
Finding a sports hall which was available during the school day, when home educated children normally have activities, was probably the trickiest part about setting up the club. Another challenge was finding a hall which was cheap enough to allow us to keep the price of sessions affordable.
What is the most rewarding part / what do you enjoy the most about running your own club?
I love seeing the kids improve over time and go from knowing nothing about dodgeball at all to having a real passion for the sport. It’s also an amazing feeling to give the kids the opportunity to experience competitive, organised sport which is rare in the home ed. community.
Did you have any help setting up your club?
My friends Benjy and Tom, who are the other two coaches for the team, set up the club with me.
Ultimate Dodge/Ravens were also really supportive while we were initially getting the club going. They gave us old equipment such as dodgeballs and scoreboards as well as allowing us to play a friendly against them to give our Sharks experience before their Schools Competition.
What are your ambitions for your club?
At the moment we have just an Under 11 age category, but we hope to expand in the future to eventually have Under 9s, Under 11s, Under 14s and U16s. This would be great as we could deliver sessions to every Junior age group and continue to increase home educated kids’ involvement in sport.
Where did you source your equipment from? Would it have been useful if there was one place to get all the equipment you needed?
We got our Under 11 dodgeballs from British Dodgeball’s online shop. All of our other equipment was from a variety of online sports shops. It would have been really useful when setting up the club to have one source for all of our equipment, especially the dodgeball specific equipment such as knee pads.
What equipment do you consider to be essential when setting up a club?
There are many pieces of useful equipment to make sessions more varied and fun, but I would say the absolute essentials for training are: dodgeballs, cones, floor line markers, stop watches/timers, whistles and a scoreboard.
So there you have it folks! If you need help setting up a club, check out our guide to Setting Up A Dodgeball Club.
You can also check out our shop, stocked with plenty of useful equipment and accessories.