Sharing Ideas

As individual as our sport essentially is, the social aspect is perhaps key in enabling it to thrive. And its community has shown its mettle over the past week or so in staying together and remaining active through great adversity. Never before have athletics and running faced such restrictions. Competitive sport and group training have been temporarily closed down in order to meet with government guidelines aimed at combating the spread of Covid-19.

However, England Athletics affiliated clubs and RunTogether groups have embraced modern technology to stay in touch with their members, boost morale and maintain fitness levels. Below we’ve assembled a collection of social media posts showing some of the clubs’ and groups’ ideas to promote activity in ways which adhere to lockdown restrictions.

Athletics and running for everyone @home

Don’t forget that England Athletics’ new Athletics and Running for everyone @home hub contains everything you need as an athlete, coach, club, volunteer, official or running group to stay engaged with your sport as fully as possible right now. There you can find details of our coaching webinars, which are free live video conferences on a variety of themes in multiple disciplines. Our experts are even open to your suggestions on topics. Further, our regular club support webinars offer the community the chance to submit questions to be addressed by key members of the England Athletics team.

We have also brought forward the launch of our funetics videos designed to demonstrate activities for 4 to 11 year-olds, while our regular podcasts also help the community stay connected.

You can also check out our pre-existing Athletics Hub resources for coaches operating remotely, and gain free access to the Athletics 365 XL bundle for coaches and Run Leaders. We are also now making two of our Athletics 365 ‘paid for’ resources for children aged 11+ free of charge.

The @home hub will continue to be updated over the coming weeks.

Clubs and RunTogether groups stay connected

We’ve specific technical advice on how clubs can stay connected digitally too. We are still able to train outdoors as long as we are careful to run solo or with members of our household, maintain at least 2m from anyone else and exercise only once per day. You might like to try games similar to that such as the runners’ bingo devised by RunTogether group HLB Runners or Horsforth Harriers’ Strava battleships.

See what some clubs have shared on social media over the past few days:


Meanwhile, many are choosing to use their gardens more and more for exercise. Poole Runners have reacted to the cancellation of Poole Festival of Running by setting up a garden marathon challenge. Anyone from around the country can get involved in the charity effort and already dozens have committed to the virtual event on April 5.

St Theresa’s Athletic Club have put together a number of social distancing activities for its members, including setting solo running and exercise circuits and self-isolation activities.

It’s by no means all running, though. Wigan & District’s Trevor Painter, coach and husband of Jenny Meadows, organised a remote garden-based standing long jump competition.

And Yate AC also helped ensure field-eventers weren’t left out. They set up a virtual javelin competition which the community could take part in from the comfort of their armchair.

We will all emerge with this lockdown with stronger cores, if the number of indoor exercises being recommended by our clubs is anything to go by! Oldham & Royton invited athletes to produce a workout based on the spelling of your name.

East Cheshire Harriers have been getting in on the act too with daily indoor or garden challenges.

The England Athletics RunTogether groups have been doing their best to carry on as a community too – albeit remotely. Tuff Fitty Tri Club, inspired by the idea of Graham Liddell (Santa), are doing weekly Fancy Dress Fridays.

Washlands Women are among the many groups who are staying connected with their members by suggesting remote sessions.

Park View 4U Run Group are also doing what they can to keep their club together.

As are JogSquad Bicester.

 

Sole Sisters Leeds have been putting out regular posts showing their members keeping active.

sole sisters leeds

Lovely #parkrunday for our #solosolesisters 🌳🌼💕 lots of @leedsgirlscan Potternewton park couch to 5kers finishing off week 4 👏🏻 keep those updates coming! #LeedsGirlsCan #leedsgirlscanrun #leedsgirlscanfriendly #FitGotReal #ThisGirlCan #thisgirlcanrun #walkjogrun #proud #fitfamily #solesisters #sweatyselfies #womenempoweringwomen #runandtalk #runtogether #socialrunning #community #couchto5k #C25K #challengeyourself #solo #solosolesister #staysafe

Tingley Run Fit are also doing their best to keep club spirit going.

Tingley Run fit

AMAZING WORK GUYS! 👏🏻👏🏻 Great to see so many of you getting out there and keeping active 🏃🏼🏃🏼‍♀‍ 🗣 Shout out to those still going to work, working from home while juggling childcare or home schooling, or just not feeling it right now. These are tough times, so if you manage a short walk on just 1 day for some headspace, you’re still a winner in our eyes 👏🏻 #VirtualTRF💙 #staysafe #crewinblue #runfromhome #goodmentalhealth

Finally, Doncaster AC highlighted the significant part that athletics and running clubs play in the local community. When they were no longer able to continue meeting as a club and finding food from their tuck shop left over, they donated it to food banks.