Digital Connectivity

Latest update image Digital Skills Training


Keep yourself healthy physically and mentally during this change in your day-to-day life, training and routines. This page will be updated regularly; you can use the quick links below to jump to different topics on this page:

The coronavirus situation may be limiting our ability to meet up physically at the moment but it’s still important that we stay connected virtually to preserve the integrity of our clubs, organisations, RunTogether groups and our community as a whole.

We can use digital technology to ensure we stay active at home, maintain relationships, encourage each other and check-in on club members and friends to make sure everyone is ok.

Throughout this period, it’s also important that we still maintain the everyday activities that matter in running an affiliated club, organisation or RunTogether group, such as:

  • Governance and operations.
  • Community and socialising.
  • Training and coaching.
  • Activities e.g. running.

Although physical activity is important, please continue to follow the advice circulated by us and the government.


Digital Skills Training

The Google Digital Garage is one of Google’s flagship investment programmes in the UK, where anyone can learn free digital skills through a range of courses and sessions. The courses offered provide athletics and running clubs, RunTogether groups and competition and event organisers to learn about digital marketing and improving your online presence.

There are a whole range of courses offered and all courses are online, can be completed in your own time and free, we’ve picked out some of the most relevant courses below:


Technology options to stay connected

How do we meet up virtually? We need digital products and services to enable us to stay connected.

What are some of the options? The following list is neither definitive nor officially endorsed by us but it is a starting point in helping you consider the tools and ideas available to you and your club, group or organisations.

How much could this cost? Consider using products and services that are low cost, free to trial or free to use. Some of these are highlighted below.

Group chat

There are many options for keeping in touch using group chat functionality – particularly with apps that people can use through their mobile devices. Popular examples include:

Video conferencing

Using a chat application is a great way of keeping in touch but video conferencing tools take it one step further… and sometimes it’s better to see people. Video conferencing facilitates this very easily and offers useful ways for clubs to stay in touch with members and to maintain other committee or club meetings.

There are a lot of options to choose from including:

  • Google Hangouts – Free to use and enables various sharing functionality including group video calls.
    Click here to find out more.
  • Google G Suite – Hangouts is included in a paid subscription to G Suite and it now allows you to have up to 250 people join the video call until July, which is more than enough for most clubs. You can even record the video call for later reference by others.
    Click here to find out more.
  • Zoom – if you have a larger group of people on a call, Zoom allows you to split the call into rooms with particular interests. This means you can split off into separate calls then come back together and combine the discussion outcomes from each room. When using Zoom, you should be aware that there have been some recent security breaches on the system so steps should be taken to ensure that your meeting is secure as possible:
    • Password protect your meetings
    • Authenticate all users joining your meetings
    • Do not allow people to join the meeting before the ‘host’ has
    • ‘Lock down’ your meeting – this will prevent people being able to join once the meeting has started
    • Use the ‘Waiting room’ feature to screen participants before they join your meeting
    • Check your Zoom app for updates regularly as the company are releasing security software updates frequently
      Click here to find out more.
  • Microsoft Teams – part of Microsoft Office 365 suite, Teams blends chat and video conferencing to facilitate collaboration.
    Click here to find out more.
  • Skype – many people already have Skype accounts and it is an easy and free way to facilitate one-to-one or group video calls on desktop or mobile – includes free sign-up.
    Click here to find out more.
  • Facebook Watch Party – if you want to look at the more social side of video conferencing then Facebook Watch Party enables you to host a group viewing of a specific piece of video content.
    Click here to find out more.

Phone calls

Remember that not everyone will have an internet connection or the most up to date computers or devices, so don’t forget to make a phone call as well.

If you need to set-up a phone conference call then there are some services that offer free sign-up and either free conference calling or calls with a charge per minute. Examples of these include:

Email

For clubs and RunTogether groups you can use the myAthletics portal or RunTogether admin area to send emails to communicate with your club members and runners.

Affiliated clubs can access the club management area of the myAthletics portal and use the in-built functionality to email your club members with any important updates or to make them aware of other communication channels you plan to use over the coming weeks.  Click here to visit the club management area on myAthletics.

In the same way RunTogether group leaders can log in to the admin area of RunTogether and use the in-built email functionality to contact all of your group contacts. Leaders can also download the Run Leader app to contact runners who have booked on to your upcoming runs to let them know about cancellations or changes to your upcoming runs.

You can download the Run Leader app using these links:

Collaborative working

Popular options for collaborative working include Google’s G Suite. G Suite allows you to create collaborative documents, spreadsheets, presentations, calendars, video conferencing etc. You can also use all your Microsoft Office documents in G Suite as well.
Click here to find out more about Google G Suite.

Microsoft offer an alternative option as part of their Office 365 suite.
Click here to find out more about Office 365.

Events

You can still hold events online.

Click here to read an article from the popular meeting platform Meetup that explains their approach to virtual meetings given the current crisis.

Useful articles

We hope the following articles provide some additional information that you might find useful:

England Athletics does not endorse any of the third party websites and services provided on this page but is highlighting them as examples of available services that individuals and clubs can explore in more detail.

Your suggestions

Please let us know if you have any further suggestions that other people might be able to benefit from. Use the form below to submit any examples or ideas of how you’re staying connected with others whilst at home: