Sport

Should kids lift weights?

YEARS ago, a video emerged showing Tiger Woods driving a golf ball like a pro. The only catch: he was just two years old at the time.

The message to parents: if you want your kids to excel in sports, you need to start them young. Of course, beyond developing specific skills—such as throwing, kicking, and swinging—improving strength, power and speed are key components of sports performance training. Which leads many parents to wonder, should my child lift weights? Some experts warn weight training at a young age can damage a child’s growth plates. And that concern has merit. There are dangers to growth plates found at the end of long bones.

The issue is, however, these injuries are almost always the result of using too much weight with the wrong technique. Smart strength training is absolutely acceptable as long as the right exercises are chosen and that the youth has an appropriate level of base strength and mobility.

Exposure to sports and fitness-based games is the best approach for younger kids. But as they reach Year 5 and 6 and high school age, you can start implementing more of a structured approach to strength training.

But we need to proceed with caution. People put too much focus on popular exercises like the bench press and start piling on weight even before a child can do 10 good push ups. Before a kid ever touches a weight, make sure he or she can perform basic body-weight exercises with perfect form.

As mentioned, push ups are a great start, pull ups, overhead squats, dips and lunges are others that can be put into perfect practice.

Two pairs of metal dumbbells on the floor used by young sportswoman

FIVE RULES FOR KIDS:

  1. Master the basics first. Work on the two movements above – the push up and overhead squat – until they can be completed correctly. (Check YouTube for video help)
  2. Focus on compound, multi-joint movements. Choose exercises that emphasize the upper back, core and hips. Less benching, more rowing. Smart exercises to include: stability-ball leg curls, inverted rows and reverse flys with light dumbbells.
  3. Stay away from most machines. Many gym machines – such as the leg extension, leg press and chest fly (pec deck) – force kids to work through unnatural movement pat- terns that have little carry over to sports and activities of daily living. (Cable machines are the exception).
  4. Watch the weights. Poor form and excessive loading are the reasons kids wind up injured. Once they’ve mastered their own body weight, start with a resistance that allows for 12 to 15 repetitions with perfect technique. Just one or two sets per exercise is fine initially, working up to a maximum of three once strength and endurance improve. Be sure not to take any sets to the point of muscular failure.
  5. Use a variety of strengthening equipment. Medicine balls, bands, and cable-based machines allow for three-dimensional movement. These are ideal because they offer kids variety, while training balance and stability just like free weights.

If your kids are keen to improve their skills and strength, improve their performance on the netball court or football ground, get them started correctly with some perfect- ly performed strength and functionality training exercises.

Born to run: Warrandyte River Runners

The Warrandyte riverside is often a hive of activity, frequented by strollers, dog walkers, cyclists, duck feeders, romantic lovers and families.

The odd runner is not an unusual sight either, but if you go down to the riverside on a Saturday morning, and you go down there early enough you are likely to see a small contingent of runners, running up and down the riverside path between Stiggants Reserve and the bridge.

These are the Warrandyte River Runners, a local running group.

Started in January 2010 by a local couple, Rob and Jodi Clark, who have now moved on, the River Runners are now in their sixth year.

“The first run had nine starters and we average about the nine to 10 mark most weeks,” says Paul, a regular Warrandyte River Runner and chief organiser of the group.

“Over the six years, we have had nearly 170 that have had at least one run with us,” he said.

They meet almost every weekend and run a course that is split into four distances: 2km, 3km, 4km and 5km. The 2km is just for fun, but the longer distances are part of the group’s seasonal competition.

“The three, four and five kilometres are all handicapped so that runners should end up about the same time. This gives some fun endings to the run, when several runners come in at roughly the same time,” Paul explains.

The goal of the run, whatever your distance, is to run the course as close to 30 minutes as possible.

Each runner is therefore given a handicap calculated on the difference between 30 minutes and your PB for your nominated difference: for example, I have run with the River Runners a couple of times and can run a 5K in about 24 minutes, so my handicap is six minutes, which means I start six minutes after the official start of the weekly run.

“I think the handicap system is great,” exclaims Jozica Kutin, a regular runner with the group.

“I found it really complicated to begin with, but once I understood it, it was great, because you can then compete against other people who are really good runners and it’s basically all up to the finish line.”

The year is broken up into seasons, at the end of each season the runner with the most points receives a prize.

Although the bite size running seasons and promise of spoils for the winner add a level of competitiveness to the runs, it seems that was never Rob Clark’s goal.

“He was someone we aspired to; I aspire to run like him (Rob),” says Nada, a fellow Warandytian and River Runner of about three years.

But when asked what she got out of running with the group she said: “Friendship, commerardary, motivation, support.”

Then after a gentle prod by another runner.

“Trophies, chocolates and wine!” she says with a smile and a laugh, “I have been fortunate to have trophies, chocolates and wine.”

Even in social active groups, especially in an activity like running, the competitive nature is hard to avoid, as I experienced on a recent run: I spent my entire 5K chasing down the run’s winner Jozica, who pipped me at the post by about 30 seconds in the end.

She was able to celebrate her 100th run with a PB and a race win.

If you are a keen distance runner and the idea of merely running 5km is not very appealing, Paul says: “Many people will join us as part of preparing for longer distances like 10km, half-marathons and marathons.”

This bears all the hallmarks of a regular running club, but the River Runners do not see themselves that way.

“I think the thought of joining a running group is daunting. It puts people off,” says Jozica. “But it’s not like that with this group, four of us did the Geelong half-marathon, it was great to go and do extra training runs during the week, we all went together … it’s much more relaxed.”

The Warrandyte River Runners were instrumental in the organisation of the inaugural Run Warrandyte back in 2012.

“Many have even been involved as competitors and/or officials in the annual Run Warrandyte event,” says Paul.

One of the younger Warrandyte River Runners, Alicia Callahan, was first female in the 12-17 category at this year’s Run Warrandyte.

Alicia was last season’s Warrandyte River Runner runner-up in the kids category. The winner of that season, Tessa, is near the the top of the current season’s standing.

I asked teenager Tessa what she gets out of running with the River Runners.

“It’s really relaxing to do it. Like, if you’ve had a stressful time at school or something, it’s just like you just run and when you’ve finished, you feel really great and you can do whatever you want because you are not stressed anymore and you feel really relaxed,” she told the Diary.

Peter from Warranwood adds: “I find I actually run more now to keep my number of runs up – for the participation, the competition. I ran professionally, so the competition is good, because it fills that void to some extent… but the exception is this lady (Tessa) bloody always tries to beat me.”

A bit of rivalry is healthy and it binds the group together.

“The handicap system that we use to make it competitive gives everyone, sort of, equal opportunity to be involved and to achieve whatever it is they want to achieve,” says Peter, “it’s a great spirit and, for me, one of the best things I’ve ever been involved in.”

The group meets most weekends. All the group ask is that you give it a go and provide a gold coin donation for the pleasure.

“Come along and try it,” says Nada. “If you connect with us, we’d love to see you again. If you don’t. Well, you’ve given it a go”.

Young gun can really motor

Most two-year-old children struggle to run, let alone get up on a bike. But this wasn’t the case for Broc Taylor.

Now aged eight, Broc began his motorbike journey with a dummy in his mouth and is now competing at national level.

Sponsored by Peter Stevens Motorcycles of Ringwood, Broc has come on in leaps and bounds, largely due to the support from father Mick and coach Joe Stevens. Competing in Victorian titles throughout the year and nationals in September, Mick believes the sky is the limit for Broc.

“My older boy rides as well, so for Broc the bike was just there, we slapped the training wheels on it and off he went,” Mick says.

This is his second year of competition and he’s had mixed results in the Vics. But the class he’s racing in is for kids up to 12 years old and if he gets a good start he’s good enough for the top 10.”

Broc rides two different bikes, both 65 and 50cc classes, and trains on many different styles of track, including clay, gravel and sand. The potential for Broc is obviously high and coach Joe Stevens has a key role to play in helping him reach it.

“I run a race team and coach a program out of Peter Stevens. My company is M.A.D (moto-x athlete development), it’s a coaching pro- gram for the sport, and through the store we have a support program for kids like Broc we run coaching and racing and the store provides the gear and the bikes,” Joe says.

“We do weekly training sessions across different tracks in the South East, we were in Mildura last weekend to race, basically we just have to follow the races as they come. He’s winning at club level already, but obviously the level jumps when it gets to nationals.”

It should come as no surprise to anyone that Broc was destined to become a star on a bike; it’s in his blood, after all. Mick was a keen rider throughout his childhood and Broc’s brother was also quick to take to motorbikes as well.

Broc is obviously going places, but for now it can still be about the simple pleasures.

“I love jumping because it’s a lot of fun and the hardest bit is to ride fast through muddy places. I want to be a pro,” Broc says.

When asked if he was scared at all about being on the bike, Broc’s answer was an emphatic “no” and even though he’s only eight, you can’t help but believe it.

Warrandyte’s mighty hat trick

WARRANDYTE Cricket Club has experienced another successful year, taking home three senior premierships in the Ringwood District Cricket Association for 2015/16.

Victories for Warrandyte’s Third XI (Don Smith Shield), Fifth XI (Timothy Court Shield) and Sixth XI ensured the Bloods added more silverware to their recently bulging trophy cabinet.

It was a busy finals campaign for Warrandyte across the entire club with five of the six senior teams qualifying for the finals and all of those five winning through past the first week.

The impressive Third XI made it to the big dance the hard way. Arguably deserving to finish on top of the ladder, Warrandyte had to settle for third place and an elimination final against Lilydale due to an anomaly in the draw and a last round defeat.

Warrandyte made light work of the opposition in the knockout game, easily defending a monstrous 305 on the second day. Warrandyte reached the total thanks to the well-poised batting of Tom Ellis and Cameron Day, before Stuart Howarth and Shaun Ison brought the team home strongly.

Ison would prove to be the games X-factor, taking three wickets when Warrandyte had its turn with the ball, to compliment U16 player Ben Jackson’s four wickets.

The following week, Warrandyte faced Kilsyth to book its ticket into the Grand Final in what proved to be a tighter contest. After being restricted to 151 on a slow ground, (with Day doing most of the heavy lifting with the bat) Warrandyte’s skipper Stewart Smead delivered with the ball, taking 5/10 in a romp to ensure Warrandyte would play another week. Playing as the only senior team in the third week of the finals, Warrandyte had a large crowd in attendance as it took on the competitive East field at a neutral ground. The Grand Final was an intense affair and became a one-day fixture following rain interruption on the first day.

Warrandyte had 35 overs to play with and restricted Eastfield to 117, largely due to more terrific bowling from Smead. That left Warrandyte facing a tricky run chase in a high-pressure situation, and the Bloods needed to keep their heads. Consistent wickets kept East field in the game, until Chris Jackson and Dean Gidley combined for the ninth wicket to guide Warrandyte home to an unlikely victory.

The Fifth XI also welcomed 11 premiership players to the history books, with an emphatic Grand Final victory over Templeton at the Warrandyte Cricket Ground.

To reach the final, Warrandyte was required to chase down 100 against a tough Montrose team, but completed the turnaround thanks to some dogged batting by Peter Hanson. Warrandyte put on a nervous display with the bat in the Grand Final, which may have been influenced by the size of the occasion. The home side managed 125, with Nathan Croft providing a mature captain’s innings before Warrandyte took the ball to defend the total.

Thanks to clutch bowling by Aaron Dean and Ryley Reardon, Warrandyte pegged back Templeton, despite the away side needing just 40 runs with seven wickets in hand. Warrandyte was able to celebrate a truly incredible come-from-behind win because of a complete team effort.

The Sixth XI have also done the community proud with comprehensive victories over Olinda and then Eastfield in their finals campaign. In the first matchup, Warrandyte cruised to victory following a strong batting display from Travis Jackson and Bailey Thomas, with bowlers providing ample cover to defend 269. Bill Stubbs was the one to do the damage, with strong support from Brady Poole, Claire O’Brien and Max Coutts. Heading into the Grand Final, Warrandyte faced tough competition, highlighted when Eastfield put on 171 in its innings.

Stubbs and Andrew Thomas worked hard with the ball to ensure Warrandyte would have a strong chance of reaching the Eastfield score.

However, the total would turn out to be nowhere near defendable, with Graham Rees, Bailey Thomas and Brady Poole providing strong support to club president Greg Warren, who was the star of the show.

Warren would finish not out on 90 runs, an incredible effort by the club stalwart to ensure a team compromised of a mix of veterans, junior and seniors would take home the flag.

In the other grades, despite a first round win for the First XI and 13 wickets from coach Jake Sherriff in the finals, Warrandyte’s senior side would suffer a poor batting collapse in its preliminary final against North Ringwood.

Warrandyte’s Fourth XI would also be knocked out on the penultimate weekend of the year, with another batting collapse costing the team. The week before, five wickets from John Prangley and strong batting from Hoiberg and Goddard would guide them past South Warrandyte.

First XI

Elimination Final: Warrandyte 136 (Dehmel 39) d. Warranwood 117 (Sherriff 8/41). Preliminary Final: Warrandyte 74 (Dehmel 28) def. by North Ringwood 6/83 (Sherriff 5/25)

Third XI

Elimination Final: Warrandyte

9/305 (Ellis 69, Day 57, Haworth 41) d. Lilydale 165 (B Jackson 4/41, Ison 3/24). Preliminary Final 151 (Day 86) d. Kilsyth 49 (Smead 5/10, C Jackson 3/14). Grand Final: Warrandyte 8/118 (Ellis 18) d. Eastfield 7/117 (Smead 4/15)

Fourth XI

Elimination Final: Warrandyte 176 (Hoiberg 97 not out, Goddard 41) d. South Warrandyte 153 (Prangley 5/31). Preliminary Final: Warrandyte 64 (Kline 15) lost to Wonga Park 8/167 (Weatherley 2/4)

Fifth XI

Semi Final: Warrandyte 8/102 (Hanson 32) d. Montrose 100 (Woodhead 3/25). Grand Final: Warrandyte 125 (Croft 31) d. Templeton 115 (Dean 4/15, Reardon 3/10)

Sixth XI

Semi Final: Warrandyte 4/269 (Jackson 62, B Thomas 58) d. Olinda 83 (Stubbs 3/16). Grand Final: Warrandyte 2/176 (Warren 90 not out) d. Eastfield 171 (Stubbs 4/20, A Thomas 3/22)

Community gets a jog on

WARRANDYTE Reserve was awash with cones, colour and competition yesterday as runners of all ages and abilities took part in the fifth annual Run Warrandyte event.

Record numbers were recorded as runners competed across the six events. Everyone from parents in prams, school kids, Warrandyte Bloods players and dedicated athletes like the Westerfoldians parkarun group took part. Five-kilometre runner Simon Tu, a member of the parkarun group, believes running truly is a sport for those of all abilities.

“No matter quickly or slowly you run, everyone is going at full capacity. So it’s the most democratic sport there is,” said Simon.

Most exciting was the introduction and running of the inaugural Grand Hotel Warrandyte Gift. After a series of heats involving over 30 competitors, it was Rory Ashton who won out in a photo finish, crossing the line milliseconds ahead of Sharlotte Rimelowe and Kellie Appleby.

The first three placing’s received cash prizes courtesy of the Grand Hotel, ensuring the hard work of runners was rewarded.run3

Long distance runner Stephen Rennick was the star of the show in the Ringwood Warrandyte Osteopath 15km event, leading the field with an exceptional time of 55 minutes 40 seconds, beating out all comers, including a brave runner who finished the track barefooted while drumming along to music. Not to be outdone was Wendy Mountford, who clocked a rapid time of 1 hour 7 minutes and 14 seconds in an outstanding effort in the 15km female event, just beating out Clare Oliveira who came in a minute later.
Simon Bull and Jennifer Wood took out the Harding’s Swift Caravan Services 10km honours respectively, while Simon Tu and Alicia Callahan were the winners
in the Ruby Tuesday Jewellery 5km category.

Perhaps the most hotly contested was the Quinton’s SUPA IGA 2.2 kilometre run, in which youngsters led the way, treating the race like a sprint early before pushing each other all the way to the line.run4

The U8s Crystal Brook Tourist Park Oval Dash was also a crowd favourite, with the little ones running as fast as anyone in front of excited spectators. All events were eagerly supported and watched by a crowd of friends, family and volunteers who cheered each runner over the finish line.

Community favourites were present, such as Grand Hotel manager Peter Appleby, who put the running shoes on with son Liam, to represent the pub, sponsor for the 2016 gift event. Member for Warrandyte Ryan Smith was present to award medals to the winners and announce the raffle, and the Warrandyte football players also completed various circuits, despite playing a game the previous day. Participation was strong and impressive MC Steve Ballard was extremely satisfied with the day as a whole.run2

“It’s been fantastic, probably better than ever,” Steve said.

“We had really strong numbers, the weather was perfect and that really helped.

“It was nice and overcast for the distance runners, and then the sun came out for the Gift. Our sponsors have been really good, there was really good spirit and camaraderie between runners, and we saw some really good times especially in the distance runs.”

Plans are already underway to make the day even bigger in 2017, including more involvement with the local sports clubs.

“It’s a great way to kick off the junior and senior footy season and the netball season, it’s great to
see competitors from the different clubs in all the races,” Steve said.

“Next year what we’d like to do is try to set something up to get the sporting clubs to compete as clubs in the races, set them up against each other.”

Special thanks are in order for major organisers, including David Dyason who worked tirelessly along with all the volunteers, the White Owl Cafe who provided exceptional food and coffee for runners and spectators, and, of course, the Warrandyte Community Bank.