Overcoming Challenges: From the Perspective of Sport & Physical Activity Organisations

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Blog 10 – 1st May 2020

Physical activity and sports clubs, groups and organisations provide far more benefits than improving participants’ health and fitness. They bring people together, develop self-esteem, strengthen relationships, build resilience and to many their team/group is their second family. So, during these difficult times, individuals and organisations are facing countless challenges

A wide range of physical activity and sport organisations who completed the Think Active Support Survey have reported;

 “We are having difficulties keeping members engaged

“We are having financial difficulties”

 “We are anxious members will not return”

“We are struggling to support the well-being of our members”

I am sure many of you can relate to this!?!?

However, sport and physical activity also show us all that life isn’t always fair, some win, some don’t, striving to reach goals is hard work. We all face and overcome so many barriers to be physically active every day, but do we give up? Absolutely not. Nor have the organisations within Coventry, Solihull and Warwickshire. These organisations have used their resilience to adapt their ‘normal’ practice to provide the benefits of sports and physical activity to their participants during Covid-19, and you can too……

Organisations have reported and implemented innovative ideas to keep in touch with participants, enhance their well-being and engagement, reporting;

“We are running Online Umpiring Events; Publishing end of Season Awards Dinners/Videos; Running Committee Meetings via MS Teams” @Old Silhillians Hockey Club

“40 members, including juniors are having weekly virtual calls. Members interact via Facebook and WhatsApp groups. Our junior section has been given skills via a video enabling them to continue to develop at home” @ KL HC

Managers & coaches now have a WhatsApp group to stay in contact. The players have tried some challenges & Wildcats created a new style kit” @Leamington Lions Girls FC

 “We ensure regular check-ins to stay in contact and provide updates” @Aston Cantlow Tennis Club

“We post weekly online challenges to keep our members engaged” @Nuneaton Predators Basketball Club

Organisations are having to think outside of the box and step out of their comfort zone by connecting with participants via social media (Facebook, twitter and Instagram), utilising virtual classes (zoom & teams), sending regular emails, texts and calling participants to keep their family together, all of which are successfully supporting them through Covid-19.

Why not give some of these great ideas a try? Or try something new? All actions, big or small, go a long way at a time like this and may just be the nudge participants need to stay engaged and active.

If you are a sports and physical activity organisation, whether you have 5 members or 5000, and need any support during these times, please get in touch and complete our survey. This will also help us further understand the challenges organisations, like yours, are facing.  We can then provide the support required now and over the coming months as we start to come out of this lockdown period. To complete the survey please visit https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/TZHKQR9. It should take no longer than 5 minutes to complete.

There is also a new section on our website which has information and links to support clubs and groups effected by Covid-19 https://www.thinkactive.org/wethinkactive/covid-19-info/

We will continue to update our social media to showcase developing opportunities and support so please follow us on Twitter, FB & Instagram: @ThinkActive

Thank you for reading. Stay safe,

Think Active Team


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