EMAIL TO ALMOST ATHLETES from Rich Ayling, England Athletics, Club Support Manager, South West

March 2020

I hope this email finds you well during these difficult times. On behalf of EA I would like to thank you and the volunteers within your clubs for the amazing work you have been doing. As an organisation we have been really encouraged by clubs firstly following the government guidelines (supported by EA) & secondly the fantastic ideas/challenges you have implemented to keep your members motivated.

Coronavirus Statement:

Please see the following link for details of the statement EA have produced regarding the coronavirus. On the right hand side of the page you will find details of FAQ’s as well -   


  • Funetics - Whilst your home schooling your kids, you may want to try for FREE a range of resources that England Athletics have developed for 4-11 year olds. The link below has videos with activities that will develop agility, balance and co-ordination and include running, jumping and throwing activities. These were made prior to the outbreak of coronavirus with the aim of enabling multiple parents and children to come together to enjoy fun athletics. As such, to share these videos with you and others, please restrict the activities to your own family (excluding any members who are self-isolating) and within your own garden or home. Do not perform these activities in a public setting at this time.



  • 11+ year olds offer – To support parents and young athletes to keep active in these challenging times, England Athletics are providing two of our Athletics 365 ‘paid for’ resources free of charge for a limited time. We’re making our Athletics 365 Athlete Handbooks (1 and 2) available free of charge (normally each handbook costs £9.99). This offer will be available until 30 September 2020. The Athletics 365 Athlete Handbooks have been designed to help athletes measure and record their progress through the Athletics 365 programme. Suitable for children over 11 years of age, as well as adults, the handbooks include information on how to complete challenges and fun activities at home at this time. This in-App resource also provides supporting videos for these challenges to help further bring them to life. Parents can also use these resources to help their children learn and practice these challenges at home. Accessing these resources couldn’t be simpler; all you need to do is download the Athletics 365 App (if you haven’t already) and then download the handbooks from the in-App resources section.

Find out more and watch a demo video on this link -



EA staff have been developing a series of webinars to provide information on coaching and support for clubs. For details of webinars and the scheduled dates of delivery please visit the following links:

Strava Summit:

Affiliated athletes can also access a free three month trial of the Strava Summit app thanks to our friends at Strava. Just because you have to run on your own doesn’t mean you have to run alone - you can still connect digitally with a like-minded running community whilst staying active and tracking your fitness goals. For further details on the 3 month trial please copy and paste the link below into a browser:

Feel Good Stories from the Region:

I wanted to highlight a couple of fantastic examples of clubs being imaginative and motivating/supporting their members. Firstly, Littledown Harriers who are based in Bournemouth have taken part in a unique virtual running challenge. They are a twin town with Netanya in Israel 3,000 miles away. The club have challenged members (in line with the government guidelines) to collectively run to Netanya and I believe they are using a Strava club page to accumulate the distances – well done everyone!

Secondly, Almost Athletes in Cheltenham have supported 1 of their visually impaired runners to continue training at home. After reaching out to the local community they have been able to access a treadmill so he can continue to train safely at home without a guide runner. Again, a huge well done to everyone involved.

I’d love to hear about the different ways you are keeping your members motivated – whether it is club challenges, homework sessions you can do in your living room or digital solutions to keep your members active.


Rich Ayling

England Athletics, Club Support Manager, South West (Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Wiltshire, Somerset, Avon & Gloucestershire)