Covid-19 Keeping Active

As time moves on during the COVID-19 lockdown and following announcements that are being made by the National Government, on Sunday 10th May there is a glimmer of light for some sports and physical activities to look at how they can start to function again but with an emphasis on maintaining the social distancing rules to reduce the spread of the virus.


From Wednesday 13th May the Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden says sports like golf, basketball, tennis and fishing will now be possible for people in the same household, not the green light to throw doors wide open but an adapted version or access observing social distancing rules, keeping at least two metres away from people outside your household - must still be followed could be suitable.


Along with this from 13th May, people in England will be able to spend more time outdoors for leisure purposes, taking more unlimited amounts of outdoor exercise rather than only exercising once a day. Its not all about sport though as garden centres will be able to explore how they can provide a service so the great activity that gets you out of the house and working in your garden can be supported. It would be worth checking with your local garden centre before going to them to see how they are adapting their service and opening hours.


Not only will you be able to enjoy the parks and open spaces in Swale again and be able to "play sports" with people from the same household it is also possible for households to drive to other destinations including the award winning beaches along the Swale coastline.


During the COVID-19 lockdown it has been a strange time with sports and physical activity across Swale being cancelled to help prevent the spread of the disease but with the announcement we can now see the National Government are exploring ways to safely bring activities back. Having said that we have seen during this time some great examples of professional and voluntary coaches, sports performers and personalities sharing how you can keep active and practise skills at home.


I’m sure you can name a few yourself that have been on TV as well as the Social Media platforms, who can forget Captain Tom doing 100 laps of his garden!


All of them have shown how time can be spent to keep active and help maintain or improve the level of health and fitness that will keep you active. The second and sometimes more important aspect of being active is the social connections that you can make with likeminded people and shared experiences.


How have you and your club or organisation been keeping in touch with your members?

  • Video challenges
  • Quiz
  • Conference calls with coaches and players


Just a few examples that appeared on Social media of how Swale based organisations are engaging with their members when this blog was being pulled together, remember to copy @activeSwale into your posts and we’ll share your news too –


  • Cyclechic - has produced a information and a guide to cycling with kids during lockdown with more detail and a blog available on their website.
  • Sheppey United Youth FC – setting out a Lockdown challenge on Twitter each week for all players to develop and practise their skills and fitness whilst stuck at home.
  • Swale School FA – On Twitter each of the age group captains has delivered their season round up and all age groups have contributed to the Keepy -up challenge recording their skills as they pass the ball onto the next player through the magic of technology.
  • Faversham StrikeForce FC – Through their website and social media they have set challenges and activities to create your own kit, ball or boot design, skill challenges on Twitter from players to all members to do in their back gardens.
  • Olympia Boxing - Coaches providing video clips on Twitter of skills and exercises to practise in your own home.
  • Kent Sport - Resources to help keep you active.


Sport England, the National Body created by Royal Charter to oversee and support Sport in England; have the mission to help build ‘An Active Nation’. They have responded to the current situation by establishing the #StayInWorkOut movement as well as revising their funding streams to help clubs and organisations whose activities have been cancelled.

  • #StayInWorkOut – helping share news, stories and ideas on how to be active whilst social isolating.
  • Tools and support – A range of advice to help you and your organisation adapt and cope during the Coronavirus Outbreak
  • Funding – Announcing in March 2020 up to £195 million to help the sport and physical activity sector.


The National Health Service (NHS) - have also pulled together information of various types and levels of activities that you can do whether you are a seasoned pro or starting to get active now you are at home with time on your hands.


Locally Kent Sport are also providing some information on how to help yourself and your organisation during the lockdown –

  • Funding – there are various sources of funds available and open for applications to help local organisations cope with the impact of COVID-19.
  • Information – Ideas and advise on how you can keep yourself and your family active or stat to bring activity into your new routine as well as ensuring the break away from your normal activity routine isn’t too disruptive.


Business Rate Relief Grant has been rolled out Nationwide with Local Authorities including Swale Borough Council administering payments to eligible businesses and organisations that are registered with the VOA.


The funding is part of the government’s measures to support small businesses and businesses in the retail, hospitality, and leisure sectors through the period of disruption caused by coronavirus (COVID-19).


For more information, and to apply if you haven’t already, visit Swale Borough Councils website but you must have or know -

  • your business rates account number, shown on your business rates statement
  • the name and address registered on your business rates account.


As we return to normal don’t forget to check out the Visit Swale website whether you want to find out what’s in the Borough or if you want to let people know what you are offering. We are always happy to promote and publicise your event whether it’s based on a physical activity or not, all you need to do is complete the Visit Swale Events Form to let us know your Swale based event that residents and visitors can take part in.