Cricket Bowling Machines

12 Oct 2017 11:46:38

This month, the cricket bowling machine manufacturer Bola have delivered their 10,000th machine since they came on the scene in the 1980's. A staggering number but when you are immersed in the world of cricket as I am it is not unsurprising. Every club or net session my son attends there is a Bola machine reliably delivering balls. If you are unaware of the Bola Professional Bowling Machine then check out this video featuring, James Taylor, the ex England cricketer. It really is a brilliant piece of equipment suitable for junior or adult cricketers

For many (if not most!) parents and cricket clubs the Bola Professional Bowling Machine is not an affordable option. In 2016 Bola launched the Bola Junior Bowling Machine.The Junior has proved to be a huge success with cricket mad kids in the garden or cricket club allowing them to hit more balls and enjoy playing cricket. The battery lasts for 7 hours so it will keep them entertained for most of the day!! My son never gets bored of playing cricket. I kept expecting his enthusiasm to diminish but he loves the game more and more.

Although Bola are the established brand there is a new kid on the block (so to speak) Dimension Sport. Dimension manufacture the Paceman range of bowling machines as well as cricket nets which are much more affordable for home use but are still excellent quality products with great performance. The Paceman Pro X2 bowling machine is the top of the range model. With speeds of up to 100 kmph and the ability to inswing, outswing as well as deliver off and leg spin it is a popular choice for cricket clubs and older junior cricketers playing at a good level.

Our biggest seller by far is the Paceman S2 Original bowling machine. With a price point of just £244.99 including balls it is an affordable option which delivers excellent batting practice with speeds up to 65 kmph and the ability to produce outswinger and inswinger deliveries. Many of our customers are junior cricketers who have patiently saved up to buy the bowling machine themselves. I can personally highly recommend this bowling machine as my son's cricket development has in part been down to facing many balls from the Paceman in the garden!

0 Comments | Posted in News By Katie
Win a Combo goal

There is no escaping football at this time of year. I am exposed to football chat on the radio, TV, the newspapers and my son's endless chatter! At least four times a week I am taking him to training, school matches and club matches as I suspect many of you are with your children. With this in mind, I thought it about time we ran another football related competition.

We are giving away a Kickster Combo Goal and Rebounder. Easy to assemble, it is an ideal goal for a football match but quick to adapt into the rebounder for training practice or when the child is on their own in the garden. The Combo goal packs down quickly and easily into a bag making it very portable.

To be in with a chance of winning a Kickster Combo Goal and Rebounder simply answer the following question:

Terms of entry: The competition is only open to UK residents aged 18 years and over. Entries must be received by the closing date of 10pm Sunday 22nd of October 2017. A winner will be picked at random from those with the correct answer. Only one entry per person. No responsibility can be accepted for lost entries and proof of transmission will not be accepted as proof of receipt. Prize is as described and is non transferable and there are no cash alternatives.

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Here at Little Big Sports we are immersed in cricket. My son is playing very regularly sometimes as much as 4 times a week. England are hosting South Africa in a test series and the English Women have brilliantly won the Women's Cricket World Cup. Not to mention the huge number of cricket bats, bowling machines, and cricket nets that are flying out of our warehouse.

With this in mind I thought it only appropriate to run a cricket related competition. The prize is one of our newest products, the Zing Cricket Stump Set with Flashing Bails. The Zing set is a popular product with younger cricketers as it allows them to replicate their T20 hero's.The innovative technology results in the bails lighting up when they are dislodged by the bowler.

Congratulations to our winner, Jenny Clancey.

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Win a Supertramp trampoline worth £400

Happiness for my daughter is bouncing on her trampoline in the garden. I resisted buying a trampoline for a long time but it's one of the best things I've done. It has guaranteed endless hours of fun for both the children and their friends and it has the added bonus of looking good in the garden. Now I want to spread the happiness of bouncing by giving you the opportunity to win a fabulous SuperTramp trampoline.

Super Tramp manufacture a range of round and rectangular trampolines which are renowned for their quality and bounce. The prize on offer is a 12ft round Eclipse trampoline worth £400. This strong trampoline has an excellent bounce and is durable meaning it will last many years of bouncing. It comes complete with an enclosure and a two step ladder.

Huge congratulations to our winner, Kate Gavaghan. Hope your children have a wonderful, bouncing summer!


0 Comments | Posted in Competitions By Katie
#GetActive this winter and win #50

We love getting active and we know lots of you do too. So, we've launched a fun photo competition giving you the opportunity to win Little Big Sports vouchers.

All you have to do to enter is:

  1. 1. Get active with your family.
  2. 2. Take a photo.
  3. 3. Submit it to @littlebigsports on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram using the hashtag #GetActive.

Simple as that!

0 Comments | Posted in Competitions By Katie
Win a Strider 12

We love Strider balance bikes here at Little Big Sports. Our daughter learnt to ride a bike quickly and easily by progressing from a Strider, so we can confidently recommend them to our customers.

The Strider 12" Sport would make the perfect present for any child under 5 years of age. This award winning balance bike only weighs 2.9 kg which makes it super light and easy to control. It features a mini-saddle which is designed for beginner riders and their tiny hips. Unlike some other balance bikes, the Sport model also includes a padded saddle and long seat post to suit children over 3 years of age and allows seat height adjustments up to 48cm (19”). With adjustable handle bars, this bike grows with your child!

Congratulations to Nicki Ramsay!!! More competitions to follow in 2017.

2 Comments | Posted in Competitions By Katie
Win a Combo goal

The football season is well and truly here. School football, club training, league matches, football magazines, MOTD and Sky Sports are all featuring prominently in our household at the moment. When there is a spare moment, my son and his friends are outside in the garden enjoying the fantastic, versatile Kickster Combo Goal and Rebounder

The Kickster Combo Goal and Rebounder is a goal and rebound net in one. Super speedy and easy to assemble, it is perfect for a football match but quick to adapt to the rebounder for training practice or when the child is on their own in the garden. The rebound net is suitable for large or small balls and ideal for improving reactions and hand/eye co-ordination. The Combo goal packs down quickly and easily into a bag making it very portable.

We are giving away a Combo goal and rebounder to one lucky winner. To be in with a chance of winning Kickster Combo Goal and Rebounder simply answer the following question:

Congratulations to the winner, Lisa Sargent

1 Comments | Posted in Competitions By Katie
Win a Zsig Mini Tennis Set worth £80.

To coincide with Wimbledon and the apparent start of summer (although pouring with rain as I am writing!) we thought it appropriate to run a tennis themed competition. We are giving away a mini tennis set perfect for the garden to one lucky winner. The Zsig Mini Tennis set is one of our bestsellers and a firm favourite for all the family young and old. The Zsig Mini Tennis Garden Set is highly recommended by Little Big Sports and our children.

The competition is now closed. Congratulations to our winner, Margaret Wilson...

0 Comments | Posted in Competitions By Katie
Win a Sportpax worth £24.99

We love the Sportpax football backpack here at Little Big Sports. Fun and eye catching, yet very hard wearing. The Sportpax is manufactured out of a combination of foam and material so it holds its shape yet will wipe clean (which from personal experience is essential!). There is plenty of space inside and handy pockets to hold smaller items securely.

A great present for a football mad child!

Congratulations to Liam Smith!!

1 Comments | Posted in Competitions By Katie

When we set New Year's resolutions that involve getting fitter or healthier, they are often very specific to us and our personal goals or ambitions. A resolution for not only you, but the whole family will ultimately give you a shared goal, bring you all lots of fun and get everyone feeling healthy and energised. As well as happy.

Most people find embarking on something as a group or a team can help with motivation and staying on track. In a family situation this can be really powerful as children will look up to parents and take their lead. Parents don’t want to let their children down, and couples often like a bit of friendly competition! So, how does this translate into everyday life and where do you start?

As life is often busy and entails work, school, multiple social lives and commitments, it is important to keep things simple and manageable. Complex, time-consuming plans feel like extra chores and we all know that the way to stick to things is to make them fun and compatible with everyday life, so, why not consider the following:

Get walking
This sounds obvious but it is often so obvious that it is overlooked. We are all guilty of using the car far too much, as we believe it saves us time. Often it is not the case and loading up kids, kits and bags, driving to school or various clubs and then trying to find parking spaces can be pretty stressful. Schools, after-school activities and friend’s houses tend to be within walking distance of our homes and leaving the car at home or even a few 'car free' days a week can really help to increase activity levels. There are times when you have to rely on the car, but on the days where you know you can leave it at home and walk instead, then do it. It is better for everyone and gives you all the chance to chat and have some family time together; trying to focus on children’s conversations whilst in a car, on a busy road is not conducive to a relaxed chat!

Make fitness fun
Exercise (for adults as well as children) doesn’t need to be strict or regimented. Some children are naturally sporty and active and others need a bit of encouragement. Similarly not all parents want to spend every day at the gym or embarking on an arduous fitness programme, so keep it simple. Regular weekend bike rides, family days out that involve moving lots, such as parks, nature trails, activity centres, games in the garden.

Be inventive!
Exercise and activity doesn’t need to be an expensive pursuit, children tend to be just as happy with simple games as they are with expensive days out. Invent games and activities that can be played at home, or, if you need some inspiration, invest in some kit that enables everyone to enjoy playing in the garden, such as those listed below which encourage fun and activity for everyone:
  • The Quickplay Kickster Combo Goal & Rebound Net.
  • The Aresson Mini Rounders set.
  • A Zsig Mini Tennis Net.

    The family that eats together…
    Most people would agree that children shouldn’t be exposed to food or weight worries. However it doesn’t hurt to educate them about the types of foods that are more likely to keep them feeling happy, healthy and bursting with energy. Children grow quickly, ideally move lots and are developing mentally and physically at a fast rate. We need to ensure they are getting the right foods into their diet to support their development. It is really easy to get good foods into the diet and doesn’t need to be time consuming or expensive. By swapping sugary cereals for porridge, muesli or eggs, sandwiches for salads and wraps and processed ready-meals for home cooked meals such as stews and curries, containing leans meats, pulses and lots of vegetables then you are doing really well! The odd sugary treat is fine, but aim to swap sweets and chocolates for fruit and crisps for nuts, seeds, oatcakes and hummus. It is good to compromise with children, so you can offer them a day in the week where they have sweets or chocolate, or keep them for the weekend. Life is all about balance. Children learn by example so if you naturally take the healthy option then they will follow. It may take some time and patience, but it will pay off in the end. As activity levels increase, then you need to ensure you and the whole family are eating the right type of food to sustain you. Slow-release carbohydrates (vegetables, brown bread, rice, pasta) will provide quick to utilise energy, and protein (lean meat, fish, pulses, eggs) and fats (eggs, oily fish, oils, nuts, seeds) will help with muscle growth and repair and will sustain appetite throughout the day.

    Make team decisions
    In a family dynamic, everyone needs to be listened to and their wishes considered. This isn’t as easy with very young children, but as your children get older they are likely to have strong ideas about what they do and don’t enjoy. It is important everyone is listened to as this encourages compliance, so if you decide that you are going to do something as a family every weekend that encourages fitness and activity, then take it in turns to decide what that activity is. If everyone feels as though they are treated fairly and everyone is on board with their choice, they are more likely to agree to take part. Compromise is important; if you find it difficult to encourage activity with your children then make it easy for them to say yes. If they don’t want to walk as much as they should, then introduce it gradually. If removing sweet and sugary foods and swapping them for healthier snacks is a problem, then do it slowly. Radical changes often don’t work, but by approaching things in a calm way and slowly increasing exercise and more nutritious foods, good habits are more likely to be formed, and to remain.
    Your children will learn from you. If an active healthy lifestyle is something that naturally occurs then it will become second nature to them. By making health and fitness choices that benefit, not only you, but also your family as a whole, you are providing them with the foundation for a long and healthy life. Habits and behaviours are formed in early age and a child who is inactive, overweight and doesn’t have a well-balanced diet is unlikely to become a health-conscious adult. Conversely, a child who has always eaten a wide range of nutritious foods, who opts for walking over getting lifts everywhere and spends much of their time in active pursuits is likely to take these habits forward into adulthood. As healthy parents, you are not only improving your own lives by making positive food and fitness choices, you are also showing your children that as one ages, they can continue to be active, healthy and happy.

    So make 2016 the year of the healthy, family-focused New Year Resolution!

    Huge thanks to Alex Ravenscroft for the guest blog. Alex is a nutritional therapist, a personal trainer and a lovely lady! Find out more about Alex here.
  • 0 Comments | Posted in News By Katie