New initiative provides students with virtual athletics

Posted On Wednesday February 03, 2021

Thames Valley has launched an innovative way to support student mental and physical health with virtual athletic training to help fill the void while school sports and recreation programming is restricted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The initiative is called the Red Shirt Effect – a reference to team athletes who sit out a game or sporting event but still remain part of the team. 

The initiative has attracted interest from other school boards across Ontario, and Thames Valley has recently partnered with Lakehead District School Board, Thunder Bay Catholic District School Board, Ottawa-Carleton District School Board and Ottawa Catholic School Board. 

“I have received such positive feedback and I am excited that students across London and surrounding area can be active at home to improve their overall mental, physical, and emotional wellness,” says Athletics Director Michelle Lange, Thames Valley Regional Athletics.

“This isn’t just for athletes,” added Lange. “It’s an excellent opportunity for all students to learn to train and concentrate on personal aspects of their health and well-being,” added Lange.

The Red Shirt Effect provides virtual supports for coaches and student that allows for training and connection in a variety of sport areas such as general fitness, strength, power, flexibility, nutrition, and sports psychology and mental wellness.   

Students can access the workouts at under the VIRTUAL TRAINERS tab.  Workouts have been developed for students working from home with limited equipment and space, and more will be added each week. 

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