As with many other sport and physical activity providers, the Coronavirus pandemic has encouraged British Blind Sport, the National Disability Sports Organisation for people with visual impairments, to adapt its delivery of services and explore the world of audio-led, virtual exercise classes specifically for people living with sight loss.
Since the UK lockdown began in March this year, BBS have been running “Workout Wednesday” classes each week, offering members and service users free and live audio-led classes to join in with every Wednesday, either before or after work. These were accompanied by pre-recorded exercise videos from the different instructors, so that services users could take part whenever they could fit it in their schedule.
As restrictions begin to differ vastly across the UK, BBS have decided to change their Workout Wednesday programme to something with more flexibility and permanence. Rather than have one workout per week, BBS will now run a live workout week at the beginning of each month with a different inclusive class each night from Monday to Friday at 6pm.
Following these live workouts, BBS will release “follow up” exercise sessions for each different class so that participants can improve and build on their performance throughout the month – until the next live workout week.
BBS think this new programme will provide more structure to the online workout series, with the pre-recorded follow on sessions allowing participants to take part whenever they have time and motivating them to progress in their chosen classes.
One participant said, “I’m finding these workouts fantastic! Currently self-isolating and can’t get out to walk or run. These workouts are keeping me sane!”
Another said, “It’s nice to do exercise alongside other people (even virtually!) and have very motivating instructors who speak to the participants and correct our positions. It’s a great idea!”
National Partnerships Manager, Alex, said “With our usual method of delivery being postponed it was important for all of us at British Blind Sport to find a new way to engage our members and service users, providing ways for them to stay active and healthy at home. Now that restrictions are so varied for people depending on where they are in the UK, it’s important for us to change up our programme and make it more flexible for our participants, but still encourage them to be active and hopefully see their own progression!
This programme has also given us a platform through which we can tackle the increased isolation that people with disabilities are facing during social distancing. Connecting with people, even virtually, is so important for good mental health and if we can help people come together through exercise then we deem it a success!”
British Blind Sport’s new Active At Home programme will be launching on Monday 2nd November at 6pm. To get involved, you can sign up to their mailing list or join their Facebook group “British Blind Sport: Active at Home”.
The timetable for the first live week of the Active At Home Programme is as follows;
Monday 2nd November – Strength and Tone
Zoom link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81680403682
Tuesday 3rd November – HIIT
Zoom link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88464758995
Wednesday 4th November – Yoga
Zoom link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82179325651
Thursday 5th November – Boxercise
Zoom link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83224385730
Friday 6th November – Pilates
Zoom link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87403260328
For more information, please contact BBS Participation Officer, David, on email@example.com or phone 01926 424247
Notes to editors
Based in Leamington Spa, British Blind Sport is the national disability sport organisation that represents visually impaired people in sport across the UK. The charity helps blind and partially sighted people get active and play sport. Sport and recreational activities can enhance the lives of people with visual impairments, by improving their health and increasing their social interaction. We encourage adults and children to participate in activities at all levels, from grassroots to the Paralympic Games. For more information about the event and British Blind Sport please contact call 01926 424 247 or email firstname.lastname@example.org