Walk, Jog, Run Latrobe stays active

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The group participating in the DFB Recruitment Fun Run held on 15 March 2020, the last event before COVID restrictions came into force. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted many community groups and limited their activities. However for WJR (walk, jog, run) Latrobe it has continued to be active within the limit of the restrictions and flourished.

During the first round of restrictions members were supported through a number of individual challenges and training programs on offer. As restrictions eased groups of five were able to train led by qualified coaches. Various options were available to members three evenings a week, using local recreational areas.

Mathison Park and Eel Hole Creek Churchill have been favoured training venues, including along the parkrun course. Lake Kernot in Morwell has also proved popular due to lighting along the paths during dark winter evenings.

The WJR group has been among the many who have enjoyed the new paths and development works at Mathison Park. The facilities have been well used and appreciated with a staggered timed running and walking event held before the return to level 3 restrictions. This enabled members to compare their performances before COVID-19 with their times a few months later and refine their training. It also aimed to help people set goals and stay motivated to continue to exercise, which is even harder in the recent cold wet conditions.

Staying active during COVID-19 is a challenge for everyone, but being part of a supportive group can help. Head coach and club Chair Ben Bailey said that members who were able to stay active and keep in contact with other members online or through training sessions were faring well, despite the difficulties.

“It’s been pleasing to see the number of people who have maintained a high level of activity and fitness and managed to reset their goals as running events have all been cancelled” said Ben. “Some of the new individual and team challenges have involved a range of physical activities, not just running and doing fun ‘research’ on other sports, simply aimed at having fun. If it’s not enjoyable then staying motivated is even harder” said Ben.

More recently the group has undertaken step challenges and continued to make sure there are activities for people of all ages and abilities, whether they walk, jog or run. “The Facebook page has been an opportunity for members to inspire and keep in touch with one another, which is often as important as the physical activity” said Ben.

According to Ben, the success of the group has been evident in their ability to maintain its membership base as last year through adapting quickly to the changing world. Annual membership fees have been kept low at $50 for people working and $30 for health care card holders and students, with low family rates also available.  The group’s activities are also ideal for people who have a mix of goals and want to stay fit for when they can return to other team sports such as football, netball or the like.

“Despite the restrictions and the obvious need for people to stay safe we have been able to adjust. Finding enjoyment in our natural environment and making the most of the many local recreational parks and facilities also helps”.



Churchill and District News is a community newspaper staffed by volunteers.


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