Like all areas of the University, the pandemic has been a big challenge for the Sports & Wellness Hub, but the team has pulled together in order to adapt and stay positive. During times like these it’s really important to have a strong sense of community and we have been working hard to ensure we’re connecting and engaging with our members more than ever.
At the forefront of this is our live virtual class timetable which we launched shortly after closing. This gave our members, and indeed the wider community, the perfect platform to continue their favourite classes such as Body Pump, Yoga and Circuits with our excellent Warwick Sport class instructors from the comfort of their own homes.
Kieran Dayaram, Health and Fitness Manager said:
"It has become clear over the last few months that although many of us are missing the gym and classes, the fitness industry has still continued to evolve and many of our exercise habits have changed as part of adapting to lockdown. Digital fitness solutions have grown exponentially and virtual classes and workouts certainly feel like the new normal! Although you can never beat the real thing in the flesh, we completely recognise that virtual fitness will continue to play a key role going forward and so this will be at the forefront of our minds when we begin to plan our class timetable for when we re-open."
Since March we have delivered over 150 virtual classes with combined viewing figures of over 150,000. In addition Warwick Sport have been producing blog articles on a wide range of health and wellbeing topics as part of our Content Core, as well as rolling out daily fitness challenges and workouts on the Warwick Sport Instagram channel and MyWellness app respectively.
Hear from our instructors and their advice on staying active
John Ennim, Exercise Group Instructor, said:
"I have seen a big difference in community engagement since I began delivering my online classes! I have had a lot of people take part in the sessions who have never actually taken part in the studio with myself pre-lockdown. I’ve also noticed people from all over the local area have been getting involved, from places such as Nuneaton, Kenilworth and Coventry as well as further afield in places such as London, Kent and up North in Teesside.
The impact on my career has been huge. I would say I’m currently working around 25% of my usual working week. I have had to adjust my lifestyle from being out and about all over the region to staying at home and delivering sessions from my lounge or kitchen. I’ve experienced a few technical issues, but it’s all part of the fun and on the whole Facebook Live has been a simple and reliable platform to use."
All live virtual classes are absolutely free for everyone and can be accessed via the Warwick Sport Facebook page If you don’t have a Facebook account, there is a dedicated On Demand feature on the Warwick Sport website where you can instantly access classes.
In addition, Warwick Sport members have the opportunity to sign up for a free 60-day trial to Les Mills On Demand, a premium service providing access to over 800 classes and workouts delivered by many of the world’s best master trainers.
Charlotte Rodger, Group Exercise Instructor, said:
"I think as a community everyone has really pulled together and made the best of a bad situation. It has been really nice to have regular members join in my classes as well as members of the community who haven’t tried classes before and have always wanted to, but maybe haven’t had the courage to step into a class in the gym. Hopefully the online classes will give them the courage to join live classes in the future.
Obviously Covid-19 has had a massive impact on mine and the careers of many others. My lifestyle has become a lot less hectic and I have had to adjust to not working. It’s also been a struggle to become a teacher to my 8 year old daughter. I have never liked watching myself on film, so to go from teaching live classes to online classes did take a bit of getting used to for me. I also love the interaction you get from members in live classes, which I don’t get from delivering one-way online classes so I have had to find new ways to connect with people. I feel I have adjusted to it however and I’m really enjoying it."