From football and cycling to gymnastics and even swimming, sports clubs across Wales are finding ways to keep the nation active during the Coronavirus crisis.
Here is just a pick of Welsh clubs that have made the move online.
Bridgend Athletics Club
If you’re missing your athletics, why not take part in Bridgend Athletics’ Decathlon Challenge. You don’t have to be Dean Macey to take part – this has been designed for families and for fun. Week one involves long jump, shuttle runs and a throwing exercise. As well as letting the kids run off some steam, there are opportunities to weave in some home-schooling with plenty of measuring and timing.
Weekly challenge sheets, available on the club’s twitter feed, should get you in tip top shape for your very own sports day at home.
Cardiff City Foundation FC
Its usual timetable of activity for children and young people with a disability may be on hold but the team at Cardiff City FC Foundation has set up digital hangouts in its place.
Bluebirds Ability sessions encourage people to keep fit and active and use sport as a tool to increase social interaction and to improve confidence.
Budding rugby players are being tempted away from their game consoles and into their gardens with Skill of the Day. As the impact of Coronavirus became more apparent in the UK, Dragons Rugby was quick to enlist the help of its Under 18 players who demonstrate skills in videos posted on Twitter (@DRA_Community).
This Swansea cycling club has thrown open its doors to daily virtual sessions.
Riders of all ages are invited to join a coaching session run by Gower Riders on Zoom. And you don’t even have to be a club member.
Phil Walton is club secretary and a coach. He is also an NHS nurse:
“It keeps people in contact with each other and we can have a bit of chit chat while we ride. Our mental health is just as important as our physical health. Our members look forward to their regular club-related activities, whether that’s a club ride or a coached session and having that suddenly removed from their routine would have a significant detrimental impact on mental health.”
Hafren Juniors Cycling Club
Moving to a renovated church in Welshpool and another cycling club, coach Karl Meredith is leading a group of juniors for an hour of sprinting and endurance. In the rear of the shot are his two sons, Fred and Victor, furiously pedalling on rollers. This is just one of the live-streamed sessions from the Mid Wales club on Facebook Live.
Karl explains, “Facebook Live is not something the club had used before but we knew we had to keep club sessions going. It gives the riders a sense of normality in these strange times.”
The sessions take place on Hafren’s private group page.
Mold Netball Club
Lockdown is not going to stop Mold Netball Club from training. Sessions are posted two or three times a week, often with the words “coach is watching” so there is no escape, even at home! Rebound squads, chest passes, side stepping through tin cans on the lawn – this bunch are going to be fitter than ever when they return to court.
The exercises are posted on Twitter.
Torfaen Dolphins Performance Swimming Centre
Unless you have a very fancy pad, its unlikely you’ll have a swimming pool at your disposal during lockdown. And while the Torfaen Dolphins may not be able to make a splash, they continue to work hard. Ray Morgan is the strength and conditioning coach for the Dolphins:
“It became apparent very quickly that we had a responsibility to our swimmers to ensure that they were provided with support as this difficult time. The obvious starting point was land-based training that they could do at home. We run live sessions on Zoom.”
To share resources, provide feedback and to help swimmers (and parents) stay connected through messaging, the club opted to use Edmodo, an educational platform.
“The swimmers upload videos of them completing the exercises as well as heartrate data.”
The team at Valleys Gymnastics are pulling out at all the stops to keep people active and motivated. Their Youtube channel features exercises for artistic gymnasts, freerunners and recreational gymnasts. The club has also filmed a chair-based exercise session; helpful for older people or those with underlying conditions who are unable to leave the house for exercise.
Zoom sessions take place two or three times a week for its 2500 members.
Melissa Anderson, the club’s managing director, explains, “We’re focussing on flexibility and core exercises. That will help to keep them ticking over and working hard on the fundamental areas of our sport while they are at home. The focus is on safety – we don’t want our members getting injured by doing risky flips on garden trampolines!”
Club Solutions was created to help sports clubs and volunteers in Wales. So, if you have any further questions or you would like to share how your club is coping during the Coronavirus outbreak, please get in touch with our friendly team, or let’s chat on social!