THE Limestone Coast Regional Sporting Academy is yet another group in the region doing things differently in these unprecedented times.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic closed much of the state down for normal business, sporting organisations and clubs have been forced to look for ways to keep their athletes motivated.
The academy has set up a competition, where athletes send in their best videos showing how creative they have been with their training to keep fit and motivated.
A prize in on offer at the end of the day, with a night’s accommodation in Adelaide for the top three videos from any entrant, plus a $100 cash prize for the winner in the academy ranks.
Starclub field officer Tony Elletson said it was a way to keep the athletes motivated and connected.
He said so far the athletes had been given plenty to do to keep them on the go, which he said was important for their future endeavours in their chosen sports.
“We have the four sports we work with as state partners – cycling, hockey, tennis and athletics – then we have the fifth program which can be anything from AFL umpires to judo, any sport anyone does that we support,” he said.
“We have also started a running club with a running app.
“One thing we hear is our athletes, like anyone, are starting to lose their motivation because they are not competing.
“This is a way for us to hopefully give them something to compete in.
“They can send in the best video in or join the running club, which gives them a way to feel they are competing against something and training for some reason.”
Elletson said the athletes could not attend a gym and had been sent running and strength programs to do at home, but he said the main problem had been the motivation.
“The motivation was waning so we looked at something to keep their motivation up, but also to keep the connection between our athletes so they can see what each other is doing,” Elletson said.
“Hopefully that might inspire them.”
The competition itself finishes on May 15 and is not only open to academy athletes.
“It can be anyone who wants to be involved and show us how they have been keeping fit,” Elletson said.
“We have had a council member send stuff in which is great.
“The more people we can get keeping fit and connecting, the better.”
One creative idea came from last year’s athlete of the year Thomas Bignell.
Bignell is a swimmer and struggled to find a way to keep fit and be sport-specific.
Apart from various different exercises he does around the house, Bignell came up with a novel way to swim – without a pool.
In the video he can be seen laying on what appears to be some type of coffee table, with someone holding his legs, while he looks to work on his swimming style.
“In his video you could see a (swimming) race going in the background on a TV and he was swimming against those guys,” Elletson said.
“He had to go for as long as they did through that swim, which was pretty clever.
“We have another young lad who lives up around Bordertown who is a hockey player.
“He has a really small pool and he also has a grain solo.
“He is using the pool creatively and is hitting balls up the chute in the grain solo, then he is out chasing cows to keep fit.
“We have asked everyone to be as creative as they can just to give everyone a bit of a laugh and a reprieve.”
Elletson said as a whole people had taken on the challenge and the videos have begun to roll in.
“I think it takes a little while for everyone to get over the situation they are in,” he said.
“I think once they get their minds around it they come up with some good ideas.
“There are some clever and creative people out there.”
The academy’s running club works on the Strava app and Elletson said anyone was welcome to join in.
“If anyone wants to join they can see how they are going against the elite athletes in the region,” he said.
“They can see how their training stacks up against the kids who are trying to make it to that top level.”
Apart from that, the academy is currently working to deliver education sessions over the Zoom platform for members only to help keep them motivated through these strange times.
Further information can be found on the academy’s social media pages.