When we returned to School, we could hear the echo of our footsteps as we walked through the Sports and Swimming Centre courts during our normal training hours. As we crossed the ovals… only crickets. The sounds have now changed, and our great sporting facilities are buzzing again! The return to sport started with our ‘First’ teams in Week 3 and in Weeks 4 and 5, all other teams were training – under the conditions allowed by the State government. Joni Mitchell sang, “you don’t know what you’ve got, until it’s gone.” Witnessing the enthusiasm and vigour of our students as they return to play, it seems they truly missed their opportunity to play sport.
The coaches and athletes have been great in designing sessions that adhere to limited size groupings and non-contact guidelines. No one is complaining about the limitations – we’re all just happy to have sport again. Good news is that most limitations are being lifted in Week 6: full contact is allowed in practice settings and drills will be accompanied by actual game-style play. The Golden Keys Training Centre will be open again, with quite limited capacity as dictated by return-to-sport guidelines. Years 12, 11 and 10 athletes in ‘First’ teams will have priority access.
Internal trials to select teams will happen mostly in Weeks 7 and 8. Assuming the coronavirus stays subdued, IGSSA (girls) and SAAS (boys) competition commences in Week 1 of Term 3. It will be an eight-round season, Weeks 1 to 8, the final round being Intercol at Pembroke. Other fixtures have not yet been drawn. IGSSA is discussing the possibility of a ninth round ‘final’ in some sports.
Throughout the restriction period, some of our senior high performance athletes trialled an online sport app. Our strength and conditioning coach set daily workouts for them that included general and sport-specific exercises. The app allows us and the students to track performance, as well as monitor wellbeing.
With the return to School these high-performance athletes have been able to resume specialised running sessions on Thursday mornings with Adam Thompson and Jon Dyer. It has been great to see a large number of students attend these sessions.
As restrictions continue to ease, we look forward to offering more activities and sessions for our Westminster athletes.