Olympic stars offer smartphone-friendly coaching.


The resolutions you made at the start of 2012 might have dropped down your priority list in recent weeks. But if you vowed to get fit, we’ve found something to put the spring back in your step – and to get you ready for the excitement of the London Olympics at the same time.

Olympians Steve Backley and Roger Black are launching a series of coaching videos, which you can stream or download to your smartphone for inspiration for your training regime.

Former javelin world record holder Steve and Olympic 400m silver medalist Roger have competed at the highest level, so their tips will have a real impact. They created their virtual training videos as part of a scheme that’s dedicated to ensuring the legacy of this summer’s Olympic Games.

Coming to a town near you…

Aimed at families and young people, playground company Proludic will be launching at least 30 Sports Legacy Zones across the UK while the Olympic Games preparations get underway.

And these parks will be all geared up for mobile users. Each Sports Legacy Zone will feature  QR codes on its apparatus, taking users through to motivational videos and exercise tips presented by Olympians.

Challenge yourself today.

But you don’t have to wait until a Sports Legacy Zone opens in your area to start your training. In the countdown to launch, a series of social fitness challenges have been laid down at http://www.proludic.co.uk/socialfitness.

Using your smartphone, you can record yourself in action and upload your video to http://www.facebook.com/sportslegacyzone. From the plank challenge to ‘the sit’ and press ups, it’s a great way to commit to improving your strength and fitness from one session to the next. And by submitting your video, you’ll also have the chance to win vouchers and sports equipment for local schools.

Meet your virtual coaches.

We caught up with Steve and Roger to find out more about the scheme and their hopes for this summer’s main event.

What’s your view on the enjoyment and benefits people can get from exercise?

Roger: Human beings were born to move. For me, fitness has always been a by-product of exercise. If you make it fun, fitness naturally happens.

Steve: Fun is more important than any other factor, especially in the early stages.  An effective training programme is all about developing new habits. The only way we can start to break old habits is to enjoy the new ones. Training has to make you want to come back for more and develop a new lifestyle.

Technology is often criticised for making us lazy; how important are mobiles in this campaign?

Roger: For this generation, technology is all around them and they can get information at their fingertips.  With this equipment, I believe the technical side will engage people who may not have done exercise before.

Steve: There is a valid point here with regards to game consoles and the growing choices for people. Add this to TV being more accessible and engaging than ever, and it’s understandable that sport and exercise have to compete for attention. However, if exercise is more fun and collaborative through the use of smartphones, then this will only serve to make exercise more enjoyable, enticing and appealing to those who enjoy using technology.

How do you feel about being a virtual coach?

Roger: In a perfect world, Steve and I would be on hand to show everyone how best to use the equipment and how to have fun. Being a virtual coach certainly enables us to pass on our knowledge to everyone who wants to learn.

Steve: I think it is a genius idea. The challenge in coaching is to get to as many people as possible. Through the campaign, I hope Roger and I can inspire people to take on the challenges and to strive to improve physically through enjoyable exercise.

What are your expectations for the London Olympics? Which events will you be watching?

Roger: I think the London Olympics will be an absolute triumph for this country and a part of that will be the medals won by British athletes. I’m especially looking forward to the athletics - Mo Farah, Jessica Ennis, Philip Idowu and Dai Greene, in particular.

Steve: My hope is that the whole world stops and marvels at the action. I also hope the Brits shine. We have some great champions who are poised to impress. I'm looking forward to seeing Mo Farah, Dai Greene and Jess Ennis. Tom Daley, Chris Hoy and Becky Adlington will hopefully all have a great Games, too.

What do you think the legacy of the London Olympics will be for regular people in the UK?

Roger: A sense of pride felt throughout the whole nation, the regeneration of a part of London that desperately needed it and memories that generations will talk about for years to come.

Steve: Aside from the legacy of the new infrastructure, I hope the Games will inspire people to challenge themselves to strive to a new level of performance.  I hope there will be a legacy of inspiration and the initiation of future champions and, more importantly, the huge number of people who will strive to win in other industries outside of sport having been inspired by the Games.