Great Britain seems to be excited to reconnect outdoors for sports and fitness events to get active again, back into shape and lose the Covid pounds.
Ticketing and events platform Eventbrite registered an explosion of people attending outdoor exercise classes, training sessions, racing and endurance events, and sports camps in the month following the resumption of organised outdoor sports on March 29.
Participation grew 310% percent from the previous month when the vast majority of sports and fitness events on Eventbrite took place online.
Between 29 March and May 17 – when indoor sports are due to be reintroduced in England – well over 150,000 attendees have booked into one or more of the thousands of sports and fitness events on Eventbrite, in outdoor facilities such as tennis and basketball courts, water sports venues, climbing walls, riding arenas and golf courses.
Some fitness classes such as Clubbercise – where people usually dance and exercise in a darkened indoor space with disco lights and reusable LED glow sticks to create a nightclub atmosphere – have adapted and gone outdoors.
Currently, some classes are taking place in areas such as school fields and outdoor gyms, to enable members to get together again to boost their physical and mental health.
Emma Wilkinson, Clubbercise Community Instructor in Nantwich, Cheshire said: “We’re currently taking classes on AstroTurf at an outdoor gym, in the daylight instead of the usual dark room with flashing disco lights.
Some people feel more comfortable exercising in the dark, but they’ve attended socially distanced outdoor classes because they enable them to stay active and feed off each other’s energy.
“During lockdown I worked online with live streaming classes, where nobody could see each other.
Teaching online was incredibly hard because even with the best will in the world, it’s difficult to motivate yourself and others, on a screen for months on end, when you can’t see each other.
“When some members came back face-to-face, they were a little hesitant at first, but then our Clubbercisers found it a great relief to be back together again and enjoy the benefits exercise gives them.
Feedback is that despite it being totally different just now, they feel so much better for doing the class and there is a newfound motivation.”
Eventbrite’s Sebastian Boppert said: “We hosted tens of thousands of successful virtual sports and exercise events during lockdown.
What this boom of in-person sports sessions shows us, is that many people were missing the thrill and motivation of exercising in groups.
We’re delighted that our platform has been able to give so many people the opportunity to get together and get active, be it online or in person.”