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Resources to keep active during the coronavirus

01 April 2020

We know colleges up and down the country have been supporting students' health and wellbeing during this unprecedented crisis in many different and innovative ways. We think it is important to recognise and amplify all the good work going on across the sector and have started sharing ideas of what colleges are doing on our dedicated coronavirus resource hub. We are updating this page regularly and are keen to hear about any innovative ideas or use of technology being used to keep students active and engaged across different departments. Please contact your Regional Development Officer or email

Use of technology

Joe Foreman is a lecturer and strength and conditioning coach at Coventry College Rugby Academy and has written an insightful blog into how he uses Microsoft Teams messenger groups, video analysis, video coaching and online meetings to get the most out of his students while they are at home. In the blog for TES, he goes through the different timetables and ways of working: one for the vocational lessons he normally teaches and one for the coaching, strength and conditioning course. Leeds City College has moved the gym provision onto Google Hangouts and added all students as part of an interactive gym group. Students get daily workout plans they can do at home and basic diet plans/ideas of how they can incorporate specific fruit and vegetables that help boost the immune systems via the college's qualified personal trainer. The Sports teams already had a Google Hangouts group so they were provided with challenges and activities they can do at home. An example is on the Leeds City College Students' Union Twitter page. The college enrichment team has also done this for all student societies and groups, such as LGBTQ​, Pan Disability, Duke of Edinburgh, ESOL etc. providing various positive things they can do while at home. Burnley College has used Google Classrooms as the base for all online teaching. To ensure students are still learning and practising, the college has tasked their students to train each other via online video calls and get their parents and siblings at home to get involved The students also have access to an online gym membership where the college post live fitness classes and fitness videos daily - this is to help them keep up their fitness, but to also make sure they are still picking up the coaching and instructing skills they need.

Student engagement and enrichment

The sports department at Leyton Sixth Form College have put together the LSC Healthy Home Guide Every week they send out a home guide to keep body and mind active. It includes home workout ideas, mental health strategies, easy, healthy recipes and fun quizzes to fight the boredom. Anne-Marie Smith, Physical Activity and Wellbeing Co-ordinator, wrote a blog on why physical activity should be a priority during COVID-19 and three simple circuit activities to do from home. Tyne Met College has introduced weekly yoga sessions with staff member Hannah Marshall for #WellbeingWednesday. [embed][/embed] Ashton Sixth Form College has created an e-enrichment activity guide for students, which includes information on free sign language courses, exercise classes, home theatre links, language classes and more. RNN Group made a ‘Happiness Hits’ playlist for the students to listen to over the holidays and have planned various challenges for students to get involved in such as Best Workout Song, Favourite Healthy Dish, Design Your Own Workout, Creative Challenge – Draw/Sculpt your favourite thing you have seen out in nature this week Bolton College is sending out a weekly student magazine to help raise the spirits of their students. The students are helping to create engaging content by interacting with challenges. The magazine includes a creative corner page, a bookworm page, a keep fit page and a page with helpful links. This is all done in addition to their remote learning studies. The college hopes to create a staff version in the future. Eccles 6th Form College has created a series of home workout posters for students during the lockdown. For example, a home workout circuit and a 5-day challenge. Staff have also created a YouTube channel to access the workouts. Truro & Penwith College's Health, Wellbeing and Sport department is offering a full weekly timetable of physical activities to support student and staff during the lockdown period. This includes live weekly YouTube streaming of boxing fitness, low impact workouts, spinning and stretch and core workouts. In addition, the health and wellbeing team are continuing to run one-to-one support slots everyday for students. Students can still be referred to the service but can also self-refer and access 20-minute appointments. For example, staff can adapt exercises to suit students' needs and go through it on a one-to-one basis. Sunderland College has put together a series of fun challenges for students each week, as part of #Activators'Activities. These include juggling three different household objects or doing some form of exercise while balancing an egg or spoon and then sharing a progression video after to see how students have got on with the skill.

Other resources

AoC Sport

We have created a guide to keeping active – A selection of online exercise and wellbeing resources, which provide free on-demand content. This aims to keep students moving whilst advising them on how to take care of their mental health at home. We hope this resource is useful for staff and students in colleges. If you require this resource in an accessible format please email us.

Sport England

Topics on the dedicated #StayInWorkOut webpage include exercising outside, online home workouts, gym-free workouts and how to get active with children.

Youth Sport Trust (YST)

YST has primary and secondary resources available, including personal challenge videos.

Activity Alliance

Moving more while you're at home - including a video workout routine ideal for people who might not have taken part in sport or activity for a while, and are looking for that first step into getting active again. The website also has a Being Active Guide for everyone with lived experience of disability or health conditions.

Mental Health

You don’t have to be self-isolating in order for coronavirus concerns to have an impact on mental health. Students and staff might find they are feeling worried, and working at home can also bring its own stresses. These feelings are normal and it’s important we acknowledge them. AoC has a dedicated mental health and wellbeing page with comprehensive, up to date resources on the topic, including a list of organisations which have published guidance on mental health considerations relating to the coronavirus outbreak, including: Mind, The Mental Health Foundation and Young Minds.