Continuing outdoor education and public sports
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Continuing outdoor education and public sports

05 August 2020 By Jack Appleton - Framework Manager for Furniture at YPO

outdoor sports facility with cones

COVID-19 has helped us all to realise the importance of the outdoor spaces we have access to. When we were limited to the one-hour outdoor exercise, this was the highlight of the day and many of us have never appreciated the outdoors as much as we did within lockdown.

It seemed everyone appreciated their walk, run or outdoor workouts. We saw a huge wave in fitness tracking apps, celebrity workouts and family activities. One of the few positives to come from the pandemic is the newfound value of getting out to exercise and this will hopefully be the kick start to a more active Britain.

Education based outdoor spaces

Since the return to school it has been amazing to see the creative ideas that educational staff have come up with to keep the children active and stimulated at break times. This has not been an easy task due to new unfamiliar restrictions.

Teachers have taken to the store cupboards to find what equipment they have, and how it can be utilised in a way that is both safe and entertaining for their pupils. Other educational settings have been fortunate enough to already have outdoors sports facilities and this has made life a little easier to manage the break-times, and PE lessons.

Public based outdoor spaces

We have all seen the effect of a restricted social life and it was easy to slip into an unhealthy and inactive lifestyle during this pandemic. But as the weeks continued and restrictions eased, it has shown that being fit and in good shape has unlimited health benefits, including boosting our mental health.

We must all, now more than ever, encourage fitness activities and provide the correct facilities to do so. Whether it is schools providing the correct sports and activity facilities, or whether we make the most of facilities provided by our councils in our social/daily lives.

Using what is on our doorstep

Things like playground markings, playground areas, activity surfaces, fitted sports equipment and outdoor fitness equipment have been a fantasy option for the public and education to use. It has been great to make the most of the sports equipment that was laying around, but properly laid out and professional sports and activity areas have been an amazing asset for councils and schools around the nation, at this time.

Some outdoor equipment that can be used by both education and the public are simple floor markings, multi-use games areas, sports surfaces and pitches, and outdoor gym/fitness equipment. All these things are amazing for encouraging more activity. Under the right supervision they also provide a much safer environment than your typical indoor activities.

Some ideas for safe outdoor exercise/activities are listed below. These are things that can be done spaced apart, one at a time, or completely alone. Helping you to keep safe outdoors whilst adhering to any recommended government guidelines.

  • Penalty shootouts (football, Hockey, Rugby)
  • Games of ‘end-to-end shooting’ football matches
  • Cricket
  • Basketball ‘shoot the hoop’
  • Use of outdoor gym equipment
  • Hopscotch
  • Bowls
  • Adventure trails
  • Climbing walls
  • Running
  • Tennis matches

How YPO can help?

Our Outdoor Sports & Activity Equipment framework solution, which includes markings, pitches, MUGA, fitness & SEND, was specifically set up to provide various options for outdoor activities. This can be for use in the education market and local authority sectors. 

To Find out more about the design, supply, and installation of such outdoor sports equipment, view our full framework details, or get in touch with the team to discuss your procurement needs!


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