BEING confined to your home in these unprecedented times is enough to drive any child (and parent) stir crazy, but there are Islanders using their sports coaching expertise driving forward ways of getting in shape at home.

One of the most ingenious ideas was devised by Gareth Bricknell, a PE teacher at The Bay CE School in Sandown.

Gareth, who skippers Cowes Sports FC, set a unique sporting challenge — one of a variety set for schoolchildren during the coronavirus crisis.

His 10m Bin Challenge is aimed at encouraging pupils across the Isle of Wight to come up with ten different sports that can be played in the back garden with nothing more than a bin, a ball, whatever sports equipment there is at home and a creative mind, with parents also encouraged to join in the fun.

Isle of Wight County Press: Gareth Bricknell (in blue) came up with the ingenious 10m Bin Challenge.Gareth Bricknell (in blue) came up with the ingenious 10m Bin Challenge.

Gareth said: “As a PE teacher and a keen sportsman, I know how important sport is — not only for keeping fit and active, but for mental well-being.

“I have been setting challenges for students and their families to keep them active, in between completing the work they have been set.

“It’s great to see families getting involved and being creative with the challenges.”

One of Gareth’s team-mates at Cowes, defender and Island Free School teacher Ash Brett, has produced a series of ‘living room’ workouts for Isle of Wight residents aged six to 60 during the lockdown.

Ash had produced video keep fit sessions primarily for his secondary school students, with the hope their families would also get involved.

But with all the positive feedback he has received so far, he has created a YouTube channel — — so anyone can give it a go.

Ash has also produced a short video discussing mental health and giving students some sound advice while they are off school.

“I talk about the benefits of exercise a lot during my videos,” said Ash, who was inspired by the popular Joe Wicks 90-day plan.

“I know my mum, who turns 60 on Sunday, has been doing them.

“To give my students a familiar face and voice, I thought it would be nice for them to see me and follow me through some of my own workout videos.

Isle of Wight County Press: Island Free School teacher, Ash Brett, in a scene from one of his new ‘living room’ workout series. Island Free School teacher, Ash Brett, in a scene from one of his new ‘living room’ workout series.

“I had intended to do one or two videos a week, but the feedback from my students and some of their parents has been lovely, which motivated me to do four this week, which I aim to keep up for the duration.

“I want to reach out to more families and spread the word about my videos across the Island community — and help any other people who might be interested in doing some exercise to help keep them positive in this tough period we’re going through.”

Also, the Island’s two sports games organisers (SGO) have been urging schools to ensure pupils get a minimum of an hour of daily physical exercise using their own challenge cards to support a national keep fit scheme.

Tony Harris and Andy Day, part of a nationwide team of 450 SGOs, are working for Sport England and children’s charity, the Youth Sport Trust, in supporting all schools to meet the national Chief Medical Officer’s guidelines that every child should do the recommended one hour of daily physical activity.

Once schools closed nationally as part of stringent government Covid-19 restrictions, a weekly programme was rolled out.

It includes a variety of activities, such as fitness, personal challenges, online contests, problem solving games and those which support physical competence and mindfulness — all with an emphasis on fun and wellbeing — made easier for schools and families to discover great content, such the popular Joe Wicks workouts.

Tony and Andy, part of the Hampshire and IW SGO team, added their own daily exercise and activity challenge cards, for primary and secondary schools on the Island, as part of the programme.

Aimed chiefly at primary school youngsters, the daily challenge card has five exercises to perform, with catchy titles such as Plank It Tuesday, Wall Sit Wednesday and Tuck Jump Thursday.

Tony and Andy are also providing some for secondary schools on the Island to support home PE sessions.

Tony explained: “The activities we offer are circuit-based, with a daily challenge for pupils to attempt.”

Exercise cards are available through Twitter: @GamesIw