19th – 27th September 2020 sees the very first Great British Week of Sport, set up by UK Active, to inspire the nation to recognise the positive impact sport and activity can have on our mental, physical and social wellbeing.
To mark the week, we thought better way to highlight the impact of sport than by speaking to local community groups and sports clubs about how they are getting back to sport following lockdown.
Braintree & District Athletic Club
“As soon as we received the government guidance along with the guidance from England Athletics, we were keen to get back on the track as soon as possible! Although in our haste, we wanted to be sure we could do it in the safest way possible. We decided that we would do a risk assessment first for both track training and road running. We then started as 1 hour at a time first then when we were happy with the protocols moved to 2 hour sessions. We have a one way system in place so everyone comes in, they are signed in so no sharing of pens, and any membership subs or fees in cash can be put into a tin, although we encourage standing orders. It’s been so beneficial for our athletes to get back to track training, and as well for our road runners going out for their 5 or 10k weekly runs, from both a physical and social perspective.” – Simon Mennell, BDAC Head Coach
Braintree Lawn Tennis Club
“Since lockdown has eased we have managed to get back on court and encourage all our members to start playing tennis again. To start with this was only singles play but now we have been able to re-start our Adult club play sessions with singles and doubles and our coaching programme has re-started with great enthusiasm. Our Junior and Adult Coaching Programme has just re-started this term in organised groups and squads while maintaining everyone’s health and safety. Being able to play or learn to play tennis isn’t just for your fitness, but we believe in the impact sport has on mental wellbeing is every bit as important as the physical. Tennis can contribute to your enjoyment and especially help to reduce anxiety and promote the feel good factor. We are currently back running our Adult Club Play Sessions, Mens & Ladies Singles Leagues, Adult & Junior Coaching Programme and have a great Family Membership package that can have you playing with your family.” – Rob Hardy, Head Coach
Dynamix Gymnastics Club
“We are a school based club. After a very in-depth risk assessment and implementation of extra cleaning procedures and health screening before training each session we have been allowed to reopen and commence our hire. On getting back to our sessions, it was amazing to see that most of our 120 members have returned, and even better to see the smiling faces again and I’m sure the long break has ignited a passion again for our sport both for Coaches and Gymnasts. The mental health gains that come with taking part in sport and being part of the team have returned and I’m told by parents that their children are so much happier after their return. Like all sports clubs, we have our challenges! Our biggest challenge on return to training has been the reduced numbers allowed in our space, this has meant that at the moment we have increased our coaching hours to maximum but have still had to reduce the number of gymnasts that attend. Being part of a club/team, the friendships made and having a safe place to do what they love are just a few of the benefits that not just Dynamix provides but sport in general!” – Donna Williams, Head Coach
Braintree BMX Club
“We returned to organised activity on 27th June in line with restrictions in place through our governing body and the social distancing regulations. Over the last 12 weeks we have expanded our club coaching structure to full capacity and have seen our club membership swell as new riders have joined the club. We have endeavoured to reintroduce riders slowly, covering basic skill work and fitness while slowly pushing the boundaries of riders to get them back up to race pace. We are now almost at the limit of riders we can manage and have seen all levels of ability from first timers to world champions joining in our sessions” – Julian Allen- Head Coach
Community 360’s Finding Your Feet Walks
We were all so glad to know the Witham walks were going to be resumed. It’s giving us much needed confidence in this strange atmosphere at the moment. I’m sure I speak for all who turned up last week. We also managed to successfully regroup according to the current restrictions. I have written a poem to share my enthusiasm and passion for the walks: