Returning to sessions

Date: 6 July 2020   Author: Energise Me


The Clubs

Atlas Fitness is an outdoor fitness bootcamp, providing fitness classes for all abilities. All the sessions are different and vary between the instructors. Sessions are typically attended by around 20 people, but numbers are sometimes higher.

Epsom Hockey club runs skill-based training sessions which involve some drills and practices as well as game play. A typical session is across the whole pitch and would involve between 25 and 50 people.

Winchester & District AC holds a variety of different running and athletics sessions. We spoke to David who runs some of their group sessions.


How are you starting to return to sessions?

Atlas Fitness: We have organised a Sunday run club for six weeks. This was one thing we could not work into our virtual sessions. We are using these sessions to gauge members’ reactions to returning, as well as testing what works before returning to a full timetable. The run clubs are separated into groups of six, based on pace.

Epsom Hockey Club: Our outdoor pitch is now open. However, our indoor facilities (changing rooms and toilets) remain shut. We have started junior and adult training, but are limiting to groups of six. One coach and five players.

Winchester & District AC: Using a rota system, I am holding two sessions a week with five athletes invited to each.



What measures are you putting in place to keep everyone safe and socially distant?

Atlas Fitness: 

  • Everyone is to ensure they are a minimum of 2 metres apart.
  • We do not provide water, or carry water as we previously did. All members are asked to bring their own and carry it throughout the session.
  • We do not use any equipment. All sessions are body weight exercises.
  • We work in small groups of six as recommended by the government.
  • We have updated our first aid kit to ensure we can provide high quality treatment if needed and keep instructors and members as safe as possible.
  • No partner or group exercises.


Epsom Hockey Club:

  • We have divided our pitch into quarters, which work as playing zones. People are assigned to a zone that they must play in for the whole session. Maximum of 16 players on the pitch with 4 coaches.
  • We have produced some participant guidance. So everyone is aware of the rules and understands what they are and are not allowed to do. These have been posted on our social media and are displayed as signs on the pitch.
  • Sessions have been cut to 45 minutes. This allows for a buffer between sessions. Players are asked to turn up no more than 5 minutes before their session and leave promptly after. This limits the amount of people on site at one time.
  • Hockey balls and cones are placed in sterilising fluid between sessions and all padlocks, gates and first aid kits are sterilised after use.
  • We take a register to allow us to trace who was at a session, should a player develop symptoms.


Winchester & District AC:

  • Our sessions are held in a private field with no public access.
  • We lay out cones to create three separate loops, with enough distance to allow for other groups training at the same time.
  • Hand gel and wipes are available at every session.


Have people been keen to return or anxious?

Atlas Fitness: Our members have been extremely keen to return. They have voiced this to us frequently. We are aware some people have expressed a new concern, having to adapt to a new routine as people are still balancing their work and home life. Online sessions could be caught up on at any time, but returning to the park has meant they need to arrive at a specific time and factor sessions into their new routine.

Epsom Hockey Club: Most people have been keen to return. We’ve had positive feedback that they have really appreciated all of the hard work done behind the scenes to make sure the club is following the guidelines. Putting thorough processes and procedures in place to keep people safe has given our members confidence in returning.

I have 25 athletes wishing to attend sessions and I can only invite five per session.

Winchester & District AC: 

Top tips for other providers thinking of returning to sessions:

Atlas Fitness: Communication is key. We asked members to remember that this is a first for a lot of us. If we get it wrong, don’t moan. We didn’t do it on purpose. Just approach us and let us know so we can make the changes.

Epsom Hockey Club: 

  • Be as organised with your planning as possible.
  • Make sure that there is clear, consistent and regular communication with everyone.
  • Use infographics to help people understand the rules and be clear on what they should and shouldn’t do.


Read more stories of local providers’ responses to COVID-19 over on our support for the sector page.


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