This week we talked to the Active Derby team who have been finding creative ways to keep the people of Derby healthy and active throughout the lockdown.

When the Covid-19 pandemic forced the closure of sports facilities, Derby City Council’s Derby Active team quickly adapted, transforming their service into Derby Active at Home – setting up a regular timetable of online classes.

Originally intended for Derby Active customers, more and more non-members have joined too. The Facebook group has increased from 100 to around 1,100 members.

Lou Newton is the Studio Coordinator who has worked with the Health and Wellbeing Advisors to provide the online programme.

Lou said: “Initially there was a lot of concern and confusion as to how live streaming would work, but the majority of instructors have managed without any issues. Those who struggled, I have phoned and talked them through the process to the best of my ability.

“Our biggest issues at present are the time lag between words and actions, and music being accidentally muted!

“It’s been great going live early and being able to have a ‘chat’ with members, as they can type their comments on screen for me to read. This means it becomes more personal than just teaching to a screen where all I can see is myself.“

While the velodrome track has been closed at Derby Arena, the cycling team have been offering online sessions through a variety of platforms.

A cycling training programme via TrainingPeaks has been made available to customers free of charge. The arena’s online Zwift workout is attracting more than 40 participants for each session, and hundreds of cyclists are taking part in weekly Zwift race nights and training sessions.

Head Track Coach Phil Kilpatrick said: “Our next stage will be to look at the possibility of holding some recreational outdoor activities, following British Cycling advice, as the easing of restrictions allows.”

The gymnastics team have also been busy making changes. Lauren Talbot, Assistant Manager, Sport Development, says: “We have adapted by posting workout videos that can be followed at home.

“It’s been tricky as we have had to change some of the skills our gymnasts would be practising with us, to make sure they stay safe while they’re at home. We have tried to provide sessions suitable for all our gymnasts, from Springtots to Advanced.”

Finally, the Learn to Swim team have been busy too updating their training ready for when they return, whilst developing activities for children to do at home.

Ben Hannan, Sports Manager at Queen’s Leisure Centre, says: “Being in lockdown has massively changed the way we’ve had to work. Without the water and the option of replicating activities at home for our members, it’s been one of the most challenging areas for us to dive into as part of Derby Active.

“That being said, we’ve found so many new ways of working, from upskilling and recruiting to our workforce remotely, to releasing dynamic newsletters for our Learn to Swim members to keep them engaged while we’re all out of the water.

“We’ve really focused on improving our Learn to Swim scheme further for an enhanced return in these challenging times. “