Former Saint Scott Shulton hosting free exercise class for children and adults to bring ‘normality’ to coronavirus lockdown

PUBLISHED: 11:58 30 March 2020 | UPDATED: 12:07 30 March 2020

Danny Newton of Stevenage and Scott Shulton of St Albans City battle for the ball during a pre-season firendly in 2019. Picture: DANNY LOO

Danny Newton of Stevenage and Scott Shulton of St Albans City battle for the ball during a pre-season firendly in 2019. Picture: DANNY LOO

©TGS Photo tgsphoto.co.uk +44 1376 553468

A former St Albans City footballer is hoping a free exercise class on Facebook for children and adults alike brings a sense of “normality” to people’s lives during the coronavirus lockdown.

Scott Shulton’s day job is as head of his own football academy and the idea came about as a way of giving something back to his near 600 students.

But since starting the 30-minute sessions, which run seven days a week starting at 3.30pm, he has found thousands have come on board to take part and have some fun.

And he says there is plenty of room for everyone, regardless of age or ability.

“We try to vary it,” he said. “It’s not just football-based, it’s kind of a football/fitness class but more than anything it’s about getting the children active.

“The biggest thing is that people need to see familiar faces and so for the kids that we teach and the kids who have come to our school they see that.

“It gives a bit of normality back to these kids as they are going through a difficult time.

“We do it Monday to Sunday, across the weekend as well, and last week was fantastic. We reached 21,000 people which was brilliant.

“But regardless of numbers we are going to do it. I know some parents are adding it into their kids’ timetable.”

It is something that can be done inside or out, and requires very little equipment.

And to help bring a sense of fun he has brought back the age-old and always loved competition of kids versus parents.

He said: “I’ve had photos and videos of parents joining in and competing against the kids.

“People take for granted the time spent with family. You get so bogged down in work and problems and all that so if we can make it a fun half-hour where the dads and the mums can join in with their sons and daughters, it’s something people won’t forget.

“I used to have that opportunity as a kid and it was sometimes just random so I wanted to make it engaging for the parents as well.

“I join in rather than just talking. I’ve done a few of the exercises holding my little one so people can see it’s a day of normality.

“I don’t really use equipment rather than one ball. Some people don’t have everything so I make it as realistic as possible.

“The maximum I’ve used so far is four tins.

“Yesterday I did it in my lounge as it can be challenging for some parents in small spaces and I wanted to show you can do it in whatever space you have and still get your heart-rate up.”

The response has been hugely positive too and not just from the big numbers watching.

Scott added: “We’ve had some kids who are new to football and some of the messages we’ve had have been fantastic.

“They’ve watched it and they can take it at their own speed. It’s there to challenge any ability or any child.

“I always say its effort over results. I make mistakes live on camera and that’s irrelevant.

“If I can help one person get through their day and be positive then that’s my biggest focus.”

To get involved go to www.facebook.com/sfcacademy1 at 3.30pm.


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