Go Well Blog

How to create a Staff Strava Challenge

We recently won an Innovation Award at the National School Games Summit for a Strava Challenge we set up with Durham & Chester-le-Street SSP in Lockdown 1.  The challenge was successful in “rising to the challenge and doing things differently to solve problems as well as developing creative ways to overcome barriers.”   The challenge helped school staff to stay active, connected and support their mental health.  We therefore thought that it might be helpful to show you how to set up a Strava Group Challenge for your school school staff or organisation.


Create a CLUB on the Strava App –

Ensure it is a running club which means you can record distances from people both running and walking (but not cycling).  You can add logos and descriptions and then invite staff/colleagues to join. As the designated “admin” for the group you can see who wants to join and then accept or deny them entry into the club.

The way the club works is that from 1 minute past midnight on a Sunday night you are off – every time a member of your team/club does an activity it records it and adds it to your weekly total – as a whole and also as an individual. You can then see who is doing the longest runs, the most uphill climbs, the greatest time out exercising.  It is displayed in a league table.


Decide a cut off time for taking daily totals – we suggest 9pm.  Any miles/kilometres after that time can be rolled over to the next day. You could make a google map of how far you have travelled that day and a Canva template to compare the team totals if you are challenging another group. Our first challenge was to travel from John O’Groats to Land’s End (a mere 874 miles) and as we progressed quickly during the week (there were over 340 participants split very evenly between the two clubs – we decided to turn around and head back up North to double the distance!).


Keep your team members motivated by creating a POST in Strava in order to let them know how they are doing at various points during the week.  This can include photos as well as text. Perhaps you have passed a particularly interesting landmark or famous city?


  • Pick an achievable distance to cover in a week depending on how many team members you have – most people should be able to do 3 or 4 miles per day.

  • Pick an iconic route – Hadrian’s Wall, The Pennine Way, Route 66 – or travel between two cities (we went from Paris to Milan one week!)

  • Take a break from travelling for distance and travel for ART! This will bring out the artistic flair of staff as they try to design their walking/running routes in order to make a pretty pattern or a picture. You will see lots of pans, worms and boxes but also stick people, horses, snails and flowers! Find someone from another company to be the judge.

  • Set up a Whatsapp group to encourage team chat and motivation.

  • Have a theme – take a photo of an animal, some scenery, famous landmarks, something green.

  • Create smaller teams and then have weekly challenges between them – who can climb the most metres?  Who can visit the most places starting with the letter S?

  • Most importantly have FUN, keep HEALTHY and ACTIVE and ENJOY!

We hope you found this blog helpful.  For more information contact


Self Care – What it means to us and how it can help you.

Do you take care of yourself? REALLY take care of yourself?

What does self care actually mean for you?

The busyness of everyday life, the juggling of commitments and responsibilities plus the never ending to do list can all take their toll on even the strongest most resilient among us.  The phrase ‘recharge your batteries’ is used a lot – but how do you ensure that your ‘battery’ really is recharged so you can be the best version of yourself?  How can you tell when your battery is running low?

At Go Well, we have adopted the ‘Six Dimensions of Wellness’, developed by Dr Bill Hettler, co-founder of The National Wellness Institute:


This model enables us to focus on parts of our life where the impact of action has a positive effect on our daily life and as a result our mental health.

This open and honest personal reflection might give food for thought as well as throw a spotlight on your own self care plan!

Those six dimensions contribute to a collection of self care options and the potential to focus on some or all of them in order to maintain the version of ourselves which we know allow us to function well in our everyday life.

What could that look like?  These examples might get you thinking;

There may be some of these dimensions which feel easier to address than others, there may be some aspects mentioned which we seldom get an opportunity to consider – but for me, when I reflect on what makes me well and what recharges my batteries, there are a couple of stand out cogs which really help my metaphorical wheels keep turning;

Social – Being Connected. 
Feeling low? Phone a friend!
Got some exciting news? Phone a friend!
Need to rant? Phone a friend!

That’s always been me – sharing news, experiences and stories with those closest to me and harvesting the responses, the commiserations, the support and advice, the sympathy at times as well as the laughs – a range of outcomes needed at different times and all met through connection.

However, being truly connected is much more than that for me. Being able to reach out when things are going wrong and know you have people to lean on is like a security blanket.  Having those friends and family members who see you at your lowest and help you reach back up to where you want to be is priceless and if we are lucky, we can all picture those people in our lives.  Also, the knowledge that somewhere along the line, this is reciprocal – feeling that connection in the other direction when a friend needs to lean on you, being valued as someone who can be turned to – what a privilege.

Friendship is a partnership, play your part and enjoy what then surrounds you

Making an effort to initiate, maintain or react to connection takes effort, but responding to that text, answering the email, picking up your phone brings that Oxytocin brain chemical boost that we all often crave.  Feeling wanted and part of a group is human nature – lockdown won’t lessen that desire, it just demands that we feed our craving for it in a different way.

Seek out those who bring something positive to your life and welcome them
Be the positive influence that someone else might need. 

Lockdown has brought with it a detraction from human contact as we know it, our family and our friends unable to be a presence on our doorstep.  And then came ZOOM! For even the most technically challenged (who, me..?!) the chance to feel we have been in the same room sharing quiz, a chat or just a smile has been a new experience for some and a welcome opportunity to remind ourselves of who is out there holding our hand along the way.  Connection.

Find ways to be together when you can’t BE together. Unleash your creativity!

Sharing a meal time as a family – if we manage just once a day, it works for us!  An opportunity to not only refuel our bodies but our links to each other too.  ‘What made you smile today?’ ‘What was the best part of your day?’ ‘Any plans for the rest of the week?’ ‘How are you REALLY doing?’ Food for the soul.  Perhaps consider how often a family meal would work for your family?

Use every opportunity to connect and reconnect, take the time and make the effort, feel the benefits.

Bonding with our neighbours like never before.  Standing on our step and clapping for our NHS led to chats across the street; finding out our neighbours hobbies, which books they like to read, popping out to sing ‘Happy Birthday’ when no one else could visit to do it, a shared recipe for soup, a plan for a street party post-COVID where we will invite the world!  Never again will these people just be faces in our street, we know them, we have forged connections and we have shared the experiences of some of the trickiest times lately.  That knowledge of being part of a community and a sense of wanting to be there too.  Create a WhatsApp Group for the neighbours? I’ll do that.  No longer will anyone just sit at home and wonder if the couple at number 2 are ok…do they need some milk picking up while I’m out?  We’re on it. Connection.

Be open to making new connections and enjoy the surprises!

Physical – Being  Active

As the reality of lockdown hit us, and the list of things we couldn’t do seemed to grow – the one thing we COULD do was be active.  The Government encouraged us to walk, run or cycle, keeping our bodies as well as our minds fit and healthy. For me, grasping this invitation was vital in order to maintain not only my physical health but my mental capacity to cope, to gain some perspective at such a confusing time, a chance to clear my head and tackle things with fresh eyes, an opportunity to experience a surge of those much needed feel good chemicals in my brain which would help me take care of myself, as well as prepare me to be stronger to take care of those around me. Self preservation.

To run – on the footpath, on the road, through mud, enjoying the sunshine or the dark of night became my solace!  Conversations with myself as well as with my amazing running buddy who shares this mindset, the miles we covered putting not only the world right, but ourselves too. Fast running, slow dawdling, jogging, running familiar routes and the fun of getting lost and discovering new places, out for ages or back home in a flash…it really didn’t matter, but what did matter was that every time I looked for an excuse not to go, I remembered how I felt the last time I ran – and I laced up my trainers.

The elation of our first 10k – a virtual version of the long cancelled event in our town – and the euphoric feeling of my running buddy and I crossing our imaginary finish line is a precious memory and the buzz from it lasted days!  To crave those highs that keep me so well is a habit I will forever be grateful to 2020 for.

Explore until you discover a physical activity you enjoy, remember the feelings you experience as you enjoy and complete – and repeat!

So, what is YOUR self care plan?  How do you maintain the best version of you?  Have you got a plan…or do you need to create one?

This plan will have you at the heart of it, it’s for no one other than you and no one understands what makes you tick better than you.  So be kind to yourself, think your plan through and start it today.  Help yourself to be the best version of you – because that version is brilliant! 

I hope you found this blog helpful, Annalisa (

Go Well Blog

5 ideas for schools to support children to be active at home

We are currently in National Lockdown 2.0; engaging children in regular physical activity is becoming more and more challenging. Some reasons for this may include:

  • Space and time in school is limited with staggered lunchtimes and deteriorating weather

  • Community sport and recreation opportunities are cancelled

  • After school clubs are limited to bubbles

  • The dark nights are setting in

  • We are all spending the majority of our time at home

While schools continue to aim to provide 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity in school time, which in itself is tricky, the additional 30 minutes out of school is providing a significant challenge.

We know that schools want to help their parents and communities to support children to be active outside of school.  We know being physically active is super important for physical health and mental health and we know the pandemic is negatively affecting the health and well-being of our children.  So what can we do?  

Here are a few ideas…

1. Virtual After School Clubs

Why not?  We all have taken big steps into the digital world and live virtual delivery has been successful in many settings.  Joe Wicks got us started in Lockdown 1.0 but we have equally seen local sports club set up ‘zoom’ type sessions to continue engagement in their activities.  Schools are becoming more comfortable with home learning and digital platforms; this could really be an option to expand the current, potentially limited, after school club provision.

It could be school staff delivering or you could engage with an external provider.  The Youth Sport Trust have also just announced that they will be providing a livestream virtual after school club at 5pm each night.

‘After School Sport Club’ will run for five weeks until December 18 and children and young people can take part live by visiting the YST’s YouTube channel,

2. A Challenge or Competition

We have found that themes or challenges/competitions are a great way of engaging people young and old in physical activity.  In our ‘One Million Steps to Wellness challenge’ I walked over twice as many steps as I would in an average week.  A half termly, weekly or daily challenge may just spark that engagement.  Here are some quick ideas:

  • A steps challenge similar to our ‘One Million Steps to Wellness’.  Give a step target to a child as an individual, create small teams, or travel collectively somewhere as a class or bubble!

  • Sport themed half-terms with a different activity each week e.g. Athletics, Football.  Each child could have a go at the activity on a Monday and create a score, with the aim being to beat that score on Friday.  Start it at school, practice it at home!

  • Contribute to a total – did you hear about the girl who accumulated over 1 million “keepy upy’s” over Lockdown 1.0?  You could copy that with your class/school/bubble or come up with your own idea of a skill to use.  Throw and catch off a wall, squats, minutes of dancing…anything you or the children can think of!

3. Promote Resources Available to Parents

Why re-invent the wheel?  There are numerous resources out there now that can support children to be active at home.  A simple newsletter or notification to parents of what is available may go a long way.  Although, perhaps using these as a theme or challenge would enhance engagement further.  Here are some useful links:

Youth Sport Trust Free Downloadable Resources:
Change for Life Activities for Children:
Active 30 Durham Home Resource Catalogue:

4. Promote Active Travel

A 15 minute brisk walk/run/scoot/bike ride to school and 15 minute brisk walk/run/scoot/bike ride home would clock up a child’s 30 minutes of activity needed outside of school time.  Can you incentivise or reward Active Travel to school?

5. Activity Tracking

Setting goals and activity tracking can support children (and adults) to maintain engagement in physical activity.  A useful aim is to reach the CMO guidelines of 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity each day.  Individual goals would be preferred, if time allows, as children will all begin from a different starting point.

3 Top Tips:

Involve the children in the planning/delivery/promotion

We know teachers are really stretched at the moment.  This could be a project for a group of sports leaders.

Keep it varied and vibrant

To maintain the engagement, keep mixing it up!  Use multiple ideas above in a longer plan/programme.

Reward engagement

Celebrate success of children being active outside of school to maintain the motivation of those engaged but also to encourage those less engaged to join in


We hope you found this blog helpful, if you have then you may find these previous blogs useful too:

6 ways to integrate Physical Activity

Why moderate to vigorous activity is important for children and how to measure it