Two Forth Valley College HND courses combined recently to help organise a virtual online fitness challenge for seven primary schools and hundreds of children between 4-12 years-of-age.
HND Events Management second year and first year HND Fitness, Health and Exercise students organised and created the ‘FVC School Fitness Challenge 2020’ which took place during the last week of November.
Taking part were seven Primary Schools across the central belt: St. Francis Xavier Primary School and Comley Park Primary School, both from Falkirk, Aberfoyle Primary School, St. Mary’s Primary School, Bannockburn, St. Margaret’s Primary School, Cowie, Callander Primary School, and St. Patrick's Primary School, Denny.
The students made activity videos for the schools to participate in with varying levels of difficulty, to cover all ages, and included five exercises along with warm-up and cool-down routines.
Lecturer Paul Tannock, said: “During this current pandemic, the students had to be creative with the organisation of their fitness event and as such, decided to run a virtual event for the local primary schools in the Forth Valley area.
“The event focused on improving well-being by using basic body-weight exercises that could be completed in the class by children of school age with no equipment. The students worked hard to involve as many schools as possible and challenged them to complete these exercises daily over a school week using social media as a platform for delivery.
“It was great to see the schools engaging with this and posting pictures of them completing the activities set. The students were meticulous in their planning and given more time this could have been successfully utilised by all schools in the local area. A very well done to all involved."
Dawn Marie Todd (45) an HND Events Management second year student, from Stirling, was the Joint Project Manager of the challenge. She said: “This being my first Virtual Event, it was certainly a learning curve and it was great to see we can still deliver events. I particularly enjoyed this one as it was for the children of our own communities. There were areas where I felt we could have done better, allowing me to plan a different way of doing things for next time.
“We selected this target group as we have many contacts within the Active and the sports development groups in our local areas who work closely with schools to help children get active but keeping it fun.
“We began rolling out the event using a newly created Twitter page, with the Twitter handle #fvchallange2020 on Monday 16 November 2020, giving the schools a week to countdown for the actual event. The challenge ran for one week commencing Monday 23 November, 2020.
“We were not only interested in helping the children to keep their bodies active, but also improve their mental health, especially given the current situation and all the restrictions with Covid-19.
“Not being able to host the event in a standard venue had, we believe, a positive effect, letting us provide the opportunity to allow more schools in our wider community to take part and by also creating a YouTube Channel, it meant that children and schools could continue with their exercises even after the event was over and others could take part too.”
Fellow HND Events Management student and Joint Project Manager on the initiative, Leona Jardine (36) from Alloa, said: “It was a new experience to find ways to deliver a digital event in difficult conditions.”
Classmate, Dylan Mayes (19) from Falkirk, said: “I found organising this event really insightful in how events are set up and what needs to be done in terms of marketing an event with primary schools involved.”
Craig McLachlan (21) a HND Fitness, Health and Exercise first year students from Stirling, said: “The reason why I enjoyed taking part in the event is because it allowed me to step out of my comfort zone.”
Classmate Kai Main (17) from Falkirk, said: “It feels good to be involved in primary school fitness, encouraging children to do exercise and have fun while doing it.”
Fellow HND Fitness, Health and Exercise student Stewart McIntosh (31) from Stirling, added: “Helping out with the event gave us a great opportunity to practice the creation of a virtual fitness session in the current climate.”