With many sporting events being cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic, one group came up with an innovative approach on Saturday.
Inner, Speed and Power, a small training group for athletes in Warrnambool, decided to do its own testing and competition at the Brauerander track.
It came after the Little Athletics State Track and Field Championships, scheduled for the weekend, were postponed on Friday.
Coach Jeremy Dixon said eight of his athletes were due to compete at the state event or at the Australian Junior Track Field Championships (March 21-29) which have been cancelled.
Dixon decided to have a quasi-competition, given the athletes had put in immense effort prior to the big events.
"It was just to recognise and to show the fruits of all the hard work that they put in," he said.
"To give them an opportunity to have a timed race and time trials.
"It was a well-received and fruitful exercise."
The group used electronic Freelap timing.
Dixon said while the times recorded were "non-legal", because there was no wind reading, many athletes achieved impressive results.
He said it was important they got a sense their hard work had paid off.
The experienced coach said it may have helped take away some of the deflation of not getting to compete on a big stage.
Dixon said the small group would continue to follow the recommended health and hygiene advice, regarding social distancing, and train where possible.
He said the group, which trains outdoors, doesn't pass balls or engage in physical contact.
Outside of his personal training group, Dixon is president of the Athletics South West Turbines track and field club.
The summer season has come to an end and the club has decided to postpone its season break up due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Dixon said it was "a waiting game" for the Turbines.
He said the new club wanted to promote and build its membership going into the cross-country running season.
But he said the club was being guided by Athletics Victoria as to what lay ahead for the sport in the coming months.
In a positive for the club, its membership now includes the winter and summer season. Dixon said this came after negotiations with Athletics Victoria.
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