I'm writing to tell you on how things stand with my classes at Harrogate Baptist Church hall at the moment. The situation is likely to change and I will keep you up-to-date via emails like this (particpants, please keep checking your email inbox or spam folder), here on my website and on my facebook page.
The government’s guidance on social distancing is summarised below.
It advises everyone, whatever their age or underlying health condition, and whether or not they have symptoms of the virus, to avoid large gatherings, and gatherings in smaller public spaces such as pubs, cinemas, restaurants, theatres, bars, clubs. It also asks everyone to avoid gatherings with friends and family. We are told to avoid social mixing in the community and having friends and family to our houses.
Monday’s advice does not explicitly state that exercise classes should discontinue but my interpretation of the guidance means that for the greater good, I have decided to postpone all Fitness with Alison classes for the time being. We are all shocked and saddened by the situation but I feel I must accept it head-on and act on the government advice.
STOP PRESS: EMD UK advises that all face-to-face activity such as group exercise classes, small group training, boot camps, sports clubs events, courses, assessment days, and social/charity events should be suspended until at least 30th April.
A videoed alternative isn't possible
Fitness instructors like myself have been advised by our professional body, EMDUK, that we are not allowed to provide breakdowns of our routines in writing, or videos for our participants at any time. This is because participants would then be following instructions without the instructor being there to check technique. As such the participant could injure themselves and the instructor could be held accountable but would not be covered by their professional indemnity insurance.
As I can’t offer classes in the real world for the moment, to keep my business afloat, I am looking into providing them online. My insurance and PPL music licence do cover live classes streamed via the internet, but only if they are two-way (i.e. I can see the class participants on the screen, they can see me - in fact, we can all see each other, which would be nice!). I am looking into the costs of hosting online sessions – perhaps through Skype - and what technical equipment I would need to buy etc. I am up for the challenge!
Please would you let me have your thoughts as soon as possible, on accessing a live class over the internet via your smartphone, laptop or tablet, as I don't want to put this in place if there is no demand, but I do want to act quickly if there is interest. If you anticipate it being problematic, please let me know what would be difficult so I can try to address that. It would be like an exercise video conference call with participants paying beforehand via paypal. I would really like to get online classes up and running this month if I can.
If you would like to chat to fellow class participants, and belong to facebook, there is a group for us to keep in touch with one another: the Fitness with Alison Tribe. It would be good to know how you all are as I do think of you when I don't see you at class, even when there isn't a pandemic! Let’s all support each other and help where we can.
So to summarise, there are no more classes in the church hall, I would like to know your thoughts on virtual classes, and please keep an eye out for my updates. Let's hope the coast is clear soon. Until then, please contact me with any questions and thanks for all your support,