During the first national lockdown, research quickly made clear that both Covid-19 and the restrictions that came with it were disproportionately impacting those from Asian and Black backgrounds.
The mental and physical health of these communities was at risk. London Sport, Sport England and Our Parks came together to create a new programme tailored to this audience: Couch to Fitness.
A nine-week home exercise plan for beginners, Couch to Fitness offered motivation, a sense of belonging, and a virtual community of like-minded people to those who had become inactive.
Led by a team of ethnically diverse instructors, promotion was focused in locations with ethnically diverse populations such as London, Birmingham, Leeds and Manchester, and designed to address the barriers the target communities faced to increasing their physical activity.
In just six months over 100,000 users joined the programme and started their journey to a more active and healthier lifestyle.
The programme smashed targets for takeup with 46% of users coming from ethnically diverse communities (compared to 13% of population), and over 42% of users completing the whole programme.