Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 3 April 2020

How The Body Coach Joe Wicks has become the world's PE teacher during coronavirus school closures

More than 2.8 million people across the world took part in the fitness star's first daily online PE lesson

The Body Coach Joe Wicks has taken it upon himself to become the world’s PE teacher, as millions of children across the world are homeschooled amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The online fitness coach, who is a household name thanks to his Lean in 15 recipe books and easy workout videos, will be live-streaming a physical education class each morning at 9am GMT (1pm UAE time), that aims to get children of all ages – and adults – moving while at home in self-isolation.

The 30-minute classes will follow his usual HIIT format, with a warm-up followed by a variety of body weight and cardio movements, and a quick cool down. In order to keep the classes accessible, they can be done without any gym equipment.

Wicks spent a chunk of last year touring schools across the UK, as well as visiting a number in Dubai, to educate children about the importance of exercise and get them moving. He was set to embark on another UK-wide school tour this week, but due to the Covid-19 school closures, that tour was cancelled.

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 23: Joe Wicks, aka The Body Coach, teaches the UK's school children physical education live via YouTube on March 23, 2020 from his home in London, England. Joe took to YouTube Live in response to the Covid-19 pandemic which has seen school children around the UK sent home. To keep the nations children active Joe will be teaching PE lesson's every week day from 9AM this week. (Photo by The Body Coach via Getty Images)
Joe Wicks, aka The Body Coach, teaches schoolchildren around the world physical education via live YouTube videos. Getty Images

“I am a man on a mission. I’ve been doing this for four years now, visiting schools all over the UK, trying to inspire young people to exercise,” Wicks said. “I was laying in bed Wednesday night at midnight and this idea came to my head, PE with Joe. I’m going to do a live workout, stream it on YouTube, put it out to the world and I didn’t know what the response was going to be but it’s been absolutely incredible.”

His first PE with Joe session took place on Monday, the first day of homeschooling for many children, and has been watched more than 2.8 million times in fewer than 24 hours. He has partnered with a number of schools and councils in the UK to get families involved, and said that he has also been contacted by people from around the world, including Dubai.

There will be a new 30-minute workout every day, between Monday and Friday, and you can find them all on his YouTube channel, The Body Coach TV.

“It’s a workout designed especially for kids, because when the schools are closed, there is no PE, but don’t worry, I’ve got you, I’m going to take this over,” he said. “I’m going to get your kids feeling energised, positive, optimistic.”

After the first session, hundreds of parents shared pictures and videos of their children taking part, including Coleen Rooney, who posted a video of her four sons tackling the workout.

Other parents were quick to praise Wicks for starting the initiative. “Thank you @thebodycoach for a fab PE lesson this morning!" one fan wrote on social media. "The whole family took part, what a great start to a day of working from home and homeschooling!”

Another added: “My 3-year-old son absolutely loved #PEwithJoe – same again tomorrow! What a way to start the day and I even joined in too although not quite so fit as my son.”

If you can’t make the live stream at 1pm UAE time, you can always catch up, as all the videos will be saved in a playlist which you can find at The Body Coach TV YouTube.

Updated: March 24, 2020 10:26 AM

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