In reaction to the coronavirus situation, and the restrictions on movement put in place by UK government, England Athletics is supporting the athletics and running family through a new digital approach: Athletics and Running for Everyone @home.
Created and implemented in under a week, Athletics and Running @home provides member clubs, affiliated athletes, runners including RunTogether groups, coaches and leaders, officials and families with access to support, resources and activities to help everyone stay active at home.
CEO Chris Jones explains: “In these unprecedented times, we are generating novel ways to help everyone within the England Athletics family stay connected, engaged, inspired and active. Whilst sharing the experience and knowledge from within our EA staff team, we are also asking our member clubs, athletes, runners and volunteers to share their advice and ideas for keeping people active during this period under the banner of #bettertogether. Our social media channels have seen a wonderful uplift in the number of members sharing images and tips on how they are helping others so thank you and keep it coming.”
The range of activity, advice and access to free resources for athletes and runners, coaches and leaders, officials, volunteers, clubs, RunTogether running groups and parents includes:
Athlete and Runners
(under the umbrella of Running @home)
- Affiliated athletes can also access an improved offer thanks to England Athletics’ relationship with Strava, which gives registered athletes a free three month trial of the Strava Summit app: while you now have to run on your own, it doesn’t mean you have to run alone. Connect with like-minded individuals on Strava’s online community whilst staying active and tracking your fitness goals.
- Tips and advice from our partners:
- DW Fitness First live workouts (daily at 11am) via social media
- Keep Moving with Team Runderwear - #60 Day Challenge with prizes
- A new Supporting Mental Health section on the England Athletics website offers useful advice and signposts to resources and third party support as England Athletics recognises the importance of both mental and physical wellbeing at this time.
- New virtual running offers and tools.
Young athletes and parents
- In recognition of the need to provide PE lessons at home for primary school aged children, England Athletics has made its new funetics activity videos available free. The funetics videos demonstrate parents and children taking part in fun activities based on fundamental core movement skills: running, jumping and throwing. Many of these are adaptable for home practice so can be shared with parents of 4–11-year-old children. Previously due to launch to primary schools in September, the new England Athletics funetics programme is supported by Katarina Johnson-Thompson and Enertor ambassador Usain Bolt.
- To further support parents and young athletes to keep active, England Athletics is also providing two of its Athletics 365 ‘paid for’ resources free of charge for a limited time. The Athletics 365 Athlete Handbooks (1 and 2) are available free of charge (normally £9.99 each) until 30 September 2020.
- New activities and challenges from high profile athletes.
- New activities and challenges from England Athletics coaches at home with their own children.
- A new Resources section is now available so that clubs can easily access the range of guidance and support documents provided by England Athletics. The section currently includes information and support materials for clubs focusing on areas such as GDPR, Governance, Health & Safety and Welfare. More material will be added throughout the year.
- A new programme of Club Support Webinars has also been launched, tailored specifically to clubs and offering two types of weekly webinar – an Open FAQ webinar and a topic-based webinar. An 11am and a 6pm session will take place for each webinar to allow for as many club personnel to take part as possible.
- The new Digital Connectivity section on the website provides advice on online tools and apps that can help clubs continue to operate whilst their key personnel, committee members and wider membership are all based at home.
- Clubs are also reminded that a key benefit of affiliation is access to the free legal helpline and legal advice provided by Muckle LLP, funded by England Athletics. Clubs are able to access advice relating to the coronavirus situation, or to contact the legal helpline with a relevant club enquiry (max. initial call length 30 mins).
Coaches and Leaders
- Free-to-access series of online coaching webinars, hosted by leading coaches and covering specific topics across every event group.
- The Coaching Resource Library in Athletics Hub, the “go-to” place for coaching resources is being updated regularly with more material for coaches, leaders and athletes to upskill themselves at home during this fallow period. Users only need to sign up once to the site (or existing users can login as normal) and follow the instructions. Favourite videos can be tagged, viewed by event group, sorted according to preference and returned to whenever required.
- To continue to support the ongoing development of coaches and Run Leaders, we have enabled free access to the Athletics 365 XL bundle (on the Athletics 365 App) for coaches, Run Leaders plus any parents with children 11+ who hold a licensed Leader in Running Fitness (LiRF), Coaching Assistant or higher qualification and have a current DBS.
- Regional coach leads are delivering Q&A webinars providing support to club coaches.
- Talent pathway coaches are having direct communication with coaches of athletes on the England talent pathway.
- A series of webinars for Officials is being scheduled, with the first announced for Thursday 9 April.
- We will be adding a series of Officiating scenarios documents to the Officials section, created in association with our higher-level officials, so that new and existing officials can continue their development while based at home.
Keep up to date
Throughout all communications, everyone has been invited to share via social media posts how they are staying active at home and finding new ways to stay in touch with others in our athletics and running family. Using hashtag #BetterTogether, ideas have been aggregated and will be re-shared.
Chris Jones, CEO, concludes: “Our Athletics & Running @home digital approach is designed to provide athletes, runners, coaches and leaders, officials, volunteers and clubs across the whole of the England Athletics family with activities, resources and advice to help them during this time. We are continuing to work on new activity and resources to benefit athletes, runners and clubs so please keep connected through our websites and social media channels. Keep safe and well.”