Students Staying Active During Lockdown

Although organised sport during lockdown is not possible, we have caught up with a few of our students from different clubs and colleges to see how they have been staying active and connected during lockdown.


Staying Active

We spoke to Izzy Windsor, student at University College and member of Oxford University Lacrosse Club, who has found Strava a motivator during lockdown: 

“As with half of the student population, I've joined Strava to try and motivate myself to stay at least a little fit, cycling and running. It also plays off the competitive spirit all of us sportspeople have!”

Izzy, like many other sports club members, has also participated in weekly zoom sessions and enjoyed the casual additions of home life as an added bonus:

“Our team's video S&C sessions have been a highlight of my weeks in lockdown, with them covering both strength and cardio fitness. While I'm sure everyone would go back to normal sessions in a heartbeat, the occasional presence of a dog or two in people's videos has been a silver lining.”

Ioana Grigoras, student at St John’s College and President of Oxford University Pistol club, has found other ways to stay active using online resources:

“Personally, I joined online zumba classes twice a week, which were extremely helpful and good fun. I also started running during lockdown and I am currently running 5km twice a week. During weekends, I also try to do a short yoga session.”

One great resource that has been open to all students and staff at Oxford University has been the Anywhere Active membership through Oxford University Sport. The membership is free for students (and only £0.01 per month for non-students) until at least 2021 and gives members access to online classes such as Zumba, HIIT and yoga as well as mediation, mindfulness, nutrition and stretching - the whole package to keep you physically and mentally fit from home.


Other Benefits

However, Ioana also recognises the benefit of sport outside of keeping physically active and the challenges that faced them when those key interactions weren't possible: -

“Joining the pistol club has never been just about the sport. I found a group of friendly, fun and welcoming people, who soon became an important part of my support network here in Oxford. We used to meet for practice twice a week, but we also had social events that brought us even closer. While I was Ladies Captain, I started ladies-only training sessions once a week that were sometimes followed by afternoon tea. Maybe more than not being able to practice shooting, it was difficult to not have regular in-person meetings with the group of people I had gotten so close to.”    

As a result, the Pistol Club, along with lots of other clubs has tried hard to keep members engaged and to keep up social interaction:

“The Pistol Club have been incredibly supportive through these trying times. Since March, our current Ladies Captain Mary and I have been organising virtual movie nights every Thursday. We have a poll every week to decide what we will watch. The movie nights are very informal and sometimes we end up chatting for over an hour and not watching an actual movie. Having this time to meet every week has been important for all of us.”


Supporting Each Other

Oxford University Table Tennis Club President, Sebastian Klindert, from St Edmund Hall, acknowledges that the club has also found this a difficult time, both physically and mentally but they continue to support each other: 

“Physical activity gives us more energy and motivation throughout the day and keeps us fit. It is difficult to maintain the same level of activity during lockdown. The lockdown is clearly affecting our mental and physical wellbeing, but we are trying to support each other as best as possible. We meet online to discuss nutrition and possibilities to remain active during lockdown.”

Seb went on to praise the support also available for the Blues Performance Scheme team:

“During the first lockdown, the online University Blues Performance Scheme was really useful to motivate us to keep active.”

The Blues Performance Scheme has been providing live and pre-recorded workout videos and ideas for squad members and individual athletes. The Scheme has also organised workshops on different areas of performance such as nutrition, sports psychology and effective sleep, during the latest lockdown.

Lockdown has brought with it many challenges and restrictions, but it appears that whether it has been putting on an Active Anywhere video, joining a zoom call or pushing yourself to go running or cycling, Oxford University students are managing to stay #ActiveAtOxford.