Staying fit and ready to compete

15 year old Joel Baillie and his 13 year old sister Olivia are eager participants in Traralgon Swimming Club’s Exercise Club. Joel rides his mountain bike for up to 4 hours a time while Olivia is a prolific daily runner. Photo: Greg Allen-Pretty.

The challenge of keeping our young athletes fit and engaged during lockdown is being met by some of Gippsland’s top sports programs. Among them are Traralgon Swimming Club’s squads and Gippsland Grammar’s rowers.

70 members of the Traralgon Swimming Club are competing in the Exercise Club. Each of six teams are led by a coach in tailored programs to keep the swimmers fit and motivated.

“We worked out an exercise program for them to do each day,” according to senior head coach Brian Ford.

“Whether they were in the junior squad or the national squad, they had to get at least two hours of exercise done.

“Our goal is to keep the swimmers connected with the coaches, with each other, competitive, fit and preventing injury when they return to swimming training and racing.”

Coaches set a one hour daily routine for participants. Added to that are daily exercise activities of the swimmers’ choice, which could include rowing, yoga, cycling, running, pilates, walking, cross training, dumbells or medicine balls. The six coaches stay in touch with their teams via regular Zoom meetings.

The Exercise Club has seen some positive results, with each week’s winning team measured by attendance, improvement in their exercises and levels of engagement. Voucher award winners for April are listed below.


Gippsland Grammar Year 8 student Isabel Foat are taking part in the ISO Challenge. Photo: Gippsland Grammar.

Meanwhile, rowers at Gippsland Grammar are engaged in a similar program that has seen them clock up 7400 kilometres in their Iso Challenge, in which 60 students from Years 8 to 12 take part in team and individual events. Added to that number are more than 100 parents, coaches and staff, as well as a team from Bairnsdale Rowing Club. Exercises including gym workouts, boxing, skipping and even roller-blading or skating are converted to an equivalent kilometre rate.

“We hope to record 10,000km by the end of this Sunday,” according to Gippsland Grammar Rowing Director Nick Bartlett.

“It’s helping keep the students connected during isolation, it’s keeping them fit, and it’s helping with their overall wellbeing.”

Weekly rewards are earned in the Iso Challenge, with staff member Chris Ray recording the most kilometres this week, as did parent Liz Foat, coach Eleanor Brinkhoff and Lynne Broad from Bairnsdale Rowing Club.

Back at the Traralgon Swimming Club, team coaches nominated two swimmers each for their commitment, attendance, improvement and engagement with the coach during April. Receiving voucher awards are:
The Young Guns – Melvey Podmore, Zahra Hanratty
Country Crushers – Kody Said, Sienna Giblett
Brian’s Boomers – Abby Warner, Ruby Paulet
Cam’s Cool, Courageous Champions – Tayla Bellion, Rachael Sbaglia
Team Task Force – Oliver Haberl, Joel Baillie (and a special mention to Jo Towers)
Goochey’s Gang – Mia Nippers, Ruby Storm


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