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One of the Couch to Fitness programme leaders stands in front of a window
One of the Couch to Fitness programme leaders stands in front of a window

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London Sport, Our Parks and Sport England join forces to support community activity through Couch to Fitness programme

A collaboration between London Sport and Our Parks supported by National Lottery funding from Sport England’s £20m Tackling Inequalities Fund has provided new evidence of the ability of Facebook advertising to engage local communities and support them to be more active.

Building on learnings from the successful London Sport and Sport England Couch to 5k digital marketing campaign, a Couch to Fitness programme was developed by leading community fitness group, Our Parks, with support from Sport England and London Sport to bring at-home fitness sessions to a range of new communities across the capital.

The campaign, developed as part of a wider Sport England-led effort to tackle inequalities widened by the covid-19 pandemic, saw impressive results with 54% of people regularly taking part coming from ethnically diverse communities whose activity levels had been disproportionately affected by the covid-19 lockdown.

Couch to Fitness is a nine-week National Lottery funded home exercise plan for beginners, developed by Our Parks with backing from Sport England, to help people who need extra support and motivation to increase their physical activity levels.

Launched at the end of July, participants progressed at their own pace with digital advertising boosting motivation through relatable and inspiring stories of similar people who had succeeded on the programme previously.

During three weeks of campaign spending, more than 800,000 Londoners were reached with almost 50,000 social media users directed to the landing page from a Facebook advert.

The programme also featured as part of the national Better Health campaign and, by the end of October, had achieved more than 29,000 sign-ups, with over 50% of registrants subsequently starting the first session. More than a third of participants completed more than two sessions of the programme.

Chris Norfield, Digital Marketing Lead for London Sport said:

“Early feedback when we were developing this campaign to engage and support BAME communities to be active during the pandemic was around the demand for a new at home activity offer.

“We listened to this and helped create Couch to Fitness which clearly resonated with our target audience as 54% of people who actively took part in the programme were from BAME communities.

“This tells us that the campaign was extremely successful at reaching our target audience which bodes well for future work using Facebook to engage with specific communities in London.”

Our Parks founder Born Barikor said:

“Couch to Fitness has been a huge success and the team at London Sport and Sport England have supported us immensely.

“The well-planned digital campaign by London Sport has enabled the Couch to Fitness programme to reach an extensive number of Parkers (participants) and to specific groups who would benefit from a programme like this which is easily accessible and flexible to participate in.

“We look forward to seeing the Couch to Fitness programme growing further in the future.“

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London Sport aims to ensure Londoners live happier, healthier lives through sport and physical activity

About London Sport

London Sport aims to ensure more Londoners live happier, healthier lives through sport and physical activity. Supported by the Mayor of London and Sport England, our target is to get Londoners more physically active.

For more information on London Sport, visit www.londonsport.org

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