500 exercise packs gifted to students during lockdown

Posted by cc576 at Dec 31, 2020 12:00 AM |
Your Sports Officer’s bid to keeping you active.

Fitness for many is a way to positively impact both your mental and physical health. Whether it helps to relieve stress, enables you to get fit and build strength, or maybe pushes you to develop your resilience, it can be a helpful tool to concentrate on one’s wellbeing. However, due to COVID-19, restrictions placed on gyms nationwide and sports at University, weather that is ‘typically British’ this time of the year, coupled with the darkness that the winter period brings, students have limited access to exercise around their studies.

Hannah Belcher, Sports Officer for 2020/21 had this to say: "This year has been particularly tough for the sporting community. Government restrictions have made it nearly impossible for any sport to resume and resulted in the closure of gyms for a prolonged period of time.”

“In a normal year, playing sport is a given and my role as sports officer would be to improve the sporting experience. However, this year I had a responsibility to go back to basics and try and keep everybody active. This proved to be particularly challenging when motivation is low, because it gets dark early and is cold and rainy outside and people don't want to go for a walk/run.”

To combat this, Hannah began working on a project to provide students access to sports packs. The free packs were delivered to students living in Leicester, across the UK and internationally, with packs including:

  • Yoga Mat
  • Resistance Bands
  • Skipping Rope
  • Frisbee
  • Water Bottle
  • Badminton Set
  • Fitness Bouncy Ball
  • Yoga Block
  • A copy of LetsDoLeicester timetable and healthy recipe cards

Recipients of Hannah’s packs have highlighted the benefits it has had on their ability to dedicate time to work out as well as interact with those in their bubble.

Milly Abbott, Club Captain of Cheer and Stunt said: “During lockdown my motivation for exercise and staying active has increasingly declined. It’s so important now more than ever to provide people with the tools and opportunity to get moving and be more active!”

“This pack has been a massive help to me. As soon as it arrived, I found myself challenging my housemate to a game of badminton! I was thinking of all the ways I can use the yoga block and mat to improve my online sport classes experience.”

Imogen Wright, Club Captain of Ladies Hockey highlighted that the lockdown packs offered a great incentive to get motivated and exercise during lockdown, “especially because of the range of things provided (frisbee, badminton set) you’re not limited to doing exercise yourself but with others as well, which is so so important for mental, not just physical health during lockdown - a brilliant initiative!”

“The sports packs are a really important initiative because they make exercise accessible for all - with gyms closed and outside exercise limited, working out inside remains the only option for many but they might not have the space of equipment to do it properly”, commented Rhiannon Jenkins of UOL Student Magazine.

“I can't afford loads of workout equipment, so having this for free was amazing because it means I can actually keep active and do it safely.”

In total, 500 packs were given away to students, all selling out in less than an hour, which demonstrates not only the zeal in wanting to be active, but also the success of this initiative.

Hannah commented, “I am glad I was able to provide something so students can remain active from the comfort of their own home. Students now have this equipment and can continue using it even after gyms re-open if they still do not feel comfortable venturing out yet.”

“It was super important to me as well to be able to provide students who are currently not in Leicester with the equipment because of government advice not to return. I am thankful to campus services for making this all happen."

Fitness packs are out of stock at present. We will keep students updated for when more are created. In the meantime, please check out Hannah’s social media accounts on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook for updates around sports.

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