Tens of thousands join Ipswich sports classes online
PUBLISHED: 08:38 26 May 2020 | UPDATED: 13:58 26 May 2020
Gyms may be shut and swimming pools all but empty, but that hasn’t stopped people in Ipswich keeping fit – as Ipswich council has revealed that 45,000 people have been taking part in its online health classes.
Ipswich Borough Council launched a series of video fitness classes a couple of weeks into lockdown, following the closure of its gyms, pools and leisure centres.
The programme includes pilates; aerobics; circuit training; and legs, bums and tums sessions, as well as dedicated sessions for children.
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So far, those classes have seen more than 45,000 people taking part, and even participants as far afield as the USA joining in.
Sports manager Andy Wilesemith said: “We have been putting on a range of different fitness classes and some 10-day challenges, we have people doing home workouts and what we call gym-based activities.
“Our kids classes have been pretty popular and we have been doing those for three weeks, and they have all been designed with younger people in mind.
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“It’s great a great number of people taking part and we are finding people coming from far and wide as well.”
The sports staff believe some people in Ipswich who have been taking part may be telling friends elsewhere about the sessions, meaning word of mouth is also helping boost numbers.
Currently there are 15 classes per week with 12 of those streamed on Facebook and all available on YouTube on demand.
Mr Wilesmith said: “It was very important as we have a responsibility to keep people active, and more and more people are taking advantage of an hour’s exercise to get out and clear their head [from the anxieties of lockdown].”
So far, little guidance has been given from the Government on when gyms and pools may be able to re-open, with the council planning to continue its sports sessions online while those facilities are closed.
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Ipswich Borough Council deputy leader Bryony Rudkin said: “We are really pleased that so many people are taking part in our online fitness classes and also sharing our videos with family and friends from across the country.
“It is important that residents have the opportunity to keep fit in these challenging times.”
To take part or find out more visit the website here.
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