The last year and more has been a time of challenge and change. No one would ever wish a pandemic on the world with the sadness and loss trailing in its wake, the disruption to our lives and economies. But, forced to live and work differently, it has been a time to take stock, examine and change the way we organise our lives and ourselves. FLexercise is no exception to the rule and a look back at the year reveals that it has been a time of rapid change.
So what have we done? Rather a lot as it turns out which we’d like to share with you. First and foremost, we went online!
Our teachers seized the day and ran their classes from their homes via Zoom, YouTube, WhatsApp and countless other ways during lockdown. They kept in touch with their people by email and some ran online ‘coffee mornings which gave everyone the chance to chat and catch up with each other.
It was good to share experiences of lockdown, to swap stories and feel less lonely. One thing’s for sure – FL exercisers enjoy each other’s company as much as the exercise!
For those teachers who have gone online, the formula has proved so successful that when face-to-face classes start again, some will manage a mix of both types of classes. This way they will keep everyone happy! Use our Class Finder to find the right class for you.
We went live on Facebook
Almost before lockdown was announced we went live on Facebook with 10@10 and Me@3. A team of teachers shared out teaching the exercise sessions and managing the chat around them too. It attracted existing and new people from home and abroad who enjoyed being part of the FLexercise Facebook community.
Two special events were the Christmas Party and the FLestival in March 2021. Both hugely successful opportunities when people could sign up for classes taken by a variety of teachers. All sorts of exercise accompanied by a lot of fun and laughter.
The 10@10 team of seven teachers has maintained and developed a strong body of friendship with large numbers of people joining the FLexercise family during lockdown. The take-up of these sessions has been an amazing 2k – all of whom, old and new, we hope will stay with us for a very long time to come in our Zoom and face-to-face classes.
We received an award!
It was great to be celebrated as an organisation by winning the Best Brand (non-dance) at the Community Fitness Network Awards.
Our teachers networked and studied online
Teachers enjoyed regular catch-ups online in their regions, helping each other navigate the choppy waters around getting their classes online, managing the nightmare that was music licensing for online delivery their homes. When restrictions eased and they could think about returning to socially-distanced face to face classes, they helped each other work out what they had to do to keep their participants safe. And, of course, they just enjoyed each other’s company!
The CPD programme went online too, which gave teachers the chance to update their knowledge and skills at home. This has saved them the time and cost of travelling to courses, so it’s here to stay! That doesn’t mean that they aren’t looking forward to getting together face to face when they can for all the socialising in between sessions!
90th Anniversary Celebrations in Bath
FLexercise was founded as the Women’s League of Health and Beauty in 1930. A weekend of celebrations of this significant anniversary was all set to go on 27–29 March 2020 with groups from overseas poised to fly over to the UK a couple of weeks before the government announced the first lockdown.
What to do? It seemed a hard decision to make at the time, but we decided it would be irresponsible to go ahead. We re-scheduled to April 2021. No one imagined that this, too, would be cancelled. The new date of 2nd April 2022 has been ‘pencilled in’ but we’ll wait to see if how many are keen to come. Not surprisingly, we’re very aware that people are reluctant to make commitments so far ahead. Who knows what the autumn will bring?
Whatever it will be, we know that FLexercise is a great organisation to be part of. We feel proud that we have lived up to our strapline by being so flexible, friendly and fit during difficult times. https://www.fl-exercise.com/find-a-class/