It may be a fun off-season race but three Hampden league football and netball clubs won't be in it to lose.
Warrnambool, Port Fairy and North Warrnambool Eagles will fight for bragging rights in two 4x200-metre relays - one with footballers and the other featuring netballers - during the Warrnambool Gift meeting at Reid Oval on Saturday, December 2.
Blues under 18 coach Damien Sell, who took up the task of putting together his club's football relay team, has called upon the service of some of his fastest junior players including Sam Carter and Joe Dowling, while fellow teenager Hugh Morgan was a late call-up for senior duo Liam Bidmade and Nick Hooker, who both withdrew with football injuries.
Senior footballer Stevie Lampton, who joined the club in 2023 from the Northern Territory, rounds out the team as captain.
Sell backed the team of four to run strongly over the distance on their home ground.
"I called on a couple of the under 18 boys who I coach and they were pretty keen to put their hand up," Sell said.
"I'd suggest they're all pretty quick, we've tried to pick a reasonably good side, (we) don't want to go in to lose even if it's a fun relay.
"Over 200 metres, those three boys out of the under 18s would be three of the best we have at the club, let alone just in the under 18s.
"And Stevie is a really quick and nippy player as well over the 200 metres, he'll be pretty strong.
"He talks himself up a fair bit - I've put him in because he tells me how good he is."
We've tried to pick a reasonably good side, (we) don't want to go in to lose.- Damien Sell
Warrnambool faces stiff competition in Port Fairy, who has called upon some of its most dynamic young small forwards and midfielders in Oscar Pollock, Radush Mohan, Oliver Myers and Jett Hopper.
Meanwhile, North Warrnambool Eagles' team is buoyed by the inclusion of Aubery Watson, a junior footballer who regularly competes on the VAL circuit. He links up with senior Eagles players Reece Scoble, Jye O'Brien and Adam Wines.
Sell said the hope was to build on the concept by adding more clubs to the race year-on-year.
"It won't be a few teams next year, it'll be four or five or six next year, and they can build it up to be bigger and better each year," he said.
"Hopefully other clubs can get involved... (to) get behind a community event and hopefully make it successful.
"It's a bit fun... and hopefully a few of their teammates get up there to support them and support the day."
In the netball relays, the three clubs have leaned heavily on youth, with several junior players filling spots in the squads.
Netball relay - 12.45pm
Warrnambool - Layla Nicolson, Matilda Burns, Lucy Howland and Olivia Cope.
Port Fairy - Lexi Dwyer, Mia Hetherington, Jess Swarbrick and Lexie Lee.
North Warrnambool Eagles - Ella Grundy, Erin Maxwell, Jessica Keast and Matilda Sewell.
Football relay - 12.53pm
Warrnambool - Sam Carter, Joe Dowling, Hugh Morgan and Stevie Lampton.
Port Fairy - Oscar Pollock, Radush Mohan, Oliver Myers and Jett Hopper.
North Warrnambool Eagles - Reece Scoble, Aubery Watson, Jye O'Brien and Adam Wines.