PLAYCE: the latest sports and play facility using the Athletic Skills Model
Wormhoudt: ‘Sports have many more similarities than differences’ The PLAYCE, the latest sports and play facility to use the Athletic Skills Model (ASM) for clubs, sports facilities, schoolyards and public places was launched during the Sportaccommodaties show in Houten on Thursday 5 March.
René Wormhoudt, founder of the Athletic Skills Model, calls it a successful day: “It was the first time that we were able to show two complete versions, ‘PLAYCE Sport’ and ‘PLAYCE X’, to a selected group of people. It was also the first opportunity for us to elaborate on what they make possible. Most people are visually orientated and prefer to take a look at things before they decide whether to explore further. We prefer to state our case from the outset to ensure that people understand our vision. We have adapted to that approach and I believe we have succeeded.”
Instructors “During last year’s event, when we exhibited our tailormade solution for public spaces called the Skills Garden, most people were new to the concept of the Athletic Skills Model. This year things were noticeably different,” Wormhoudt continues. “The reason? Because the ASM has become very visual in the past year. We have started to train people who will communicate our message and we currently have close to 2.000 ASM instructors. As this number continues to increase we inspire people from clubs, schools and local sports councils. This ultimately influences sports associations and institutions to adjust their policies.”
Core values The PLAYCE will play an important role in achieving those changes. It has four core values: fun, versatility, creativity and inclusion. A diverse and challenging environment should encourage people to have fun while playing, participating in sports or exercising. The
appealing color scheme and appearance means PALYCE adds value to sports facilities used for football or hockey. The same also applies to the suburbs, at hospitals or in schoolyards.
Versatility is the second core value. Wormhoudt, who is also the Strength and Conditioning Coach at the Dutch FA, continues: “The number of playing fields, patterns and equipment offers every PLAYCE endless possibilities for stimulating people to hone their movement skills. All exercises, games, activities and distances for testing are available to any athlete, be it amateur or professional, as plug-and-play.” The unique combination of diversity, asymmetry and variety of surfaces makes it possible to develop a wide scope of motor skills and at any level. This relates to the third core value: creativity. PLAYCE uses this to reintroduce the important qualities of outdoor playing to the design of the sports and play facility.
Wormhoudt says: “I would like to emphasize that the PLAYCE enables inclusion. Its design appeals to everybody. It appeals to those doing top sports, community sports, healthcare, physical education or who are just recreational athletes. The multi-functional playgrounds unite people of all ages, at any level and with or without skills. That makes it a catalyst for cooperation and sustainable use.”
Diverse For the ‘PLAYCE Sport’ version we worked with sports clubs. It is intended to be an addition to their own playing field and shared facility. It is the ultimate solution for applying the ASM to a compact field. The dimensions of the field make it possible to install the ASM at any club. “Sports have many more similarities than differences,” Wormhoudt points out. In addition, the PLAYCE is perfectly suited for rehabilitation centres and physiotherapy practices or as a playground for educational purposes. It enables working on various basic forms of movement in a versatile way by means of stimulating versatile eye-hand and eye-foot coordination. A wide variety of organizational and differentiation forms can be applied and the field contains all the necessities for performing common tests and benchmarks such as the T-test, shuttle run, sprints, jumps and agility slalom. Once again, everything is plug and play.
PLAYCE X is the second version of the new concept. The X stands for ‘10’ which refers to the 10 basic forms of movement that stimulate broad motor skill development. The PLAYCE X offers organizational and differentiation forms even more diversity. That makes it the ideal plug-and-play tool for professionals. The extra comfortable surface for the areas where basics like ‘balancing and falling’, ‘jumping and landing’ and ‘rolling, diving and turning’ are practiced makes the PLAYCE X remarkable.
National Sports Covenant The Athletic Skills Model is a new model for talent development initially developed for use in sports. The vision behind this model has now been translated to other interest groups and focus areas to enable the (talent) improvement of any person. The introduction of PLAYCE will be the next step. Programmes that strive to achieve optimal movement will succeed only at places where hardware and software meet. By integrating the vision of ASM in public and private sports and movement facilities, each athlete will have the perfect environment in which to apply the ASM. This way, the facility will contribute to better achievements, fewer injuries, more creativity and more fun. Wormhoudt says: “People don’t exercise enough and, even if they do, it is very limited in terms the diversity of movements. Premature, excessive overloading or specialization increases the likelihood of injuries, physical overload and unavailability. The ASM encourages people to think and exercise differently. It focusses on the skills, concepts and competencies for sports rather than making sport itself key.”
This way the ASM is linked to the National Sports Covenant and provides a ground for differentiated exercising programmes for every level of athlete. From top sport to recreational. From healthcare to physical education and from abled to less-abled athletes. Wromhoudt says: “The ASM contributes to a futureproof sport in any country. Our roadmap helps and supports municipalities in developing and applying their local sports philosophies. As such we make every municipality futureproof.”
Official suppliers Kragten, KSP and RSI “ASM shows that we aim for quality.” That is key to our ambition to improve the quality of all physical exercising programmes by means of our training and ASM. That also applies to all materials used and the environment we work in. “That is why we have chosen to cooperate with companies that have shown they can deliver the quality we strive to achieve. Together with our partners Kragten, KSP Kunstgras and Recreational Systems International (RSI) we work day in, day out to have that achieved.”
Skills Garden The PLAYCE Sport and PLAYCE X are the final results of our sports and playground development efforts, which complement the previously launched Skills Garden®. “The Skills Garden is our tailormade solution for public spaces and enables a diverse and maximal application of the Athletic Skills Model. For these exclusive designs we used even more research, data and design sessions to consider the environment in which a Skills Garden will be placed.”