Sport

Cricket returns to Warrandyte Reserve

CRICKET SEASON is fast approaching and Warrandyte Cricket Club (WCC) is ready to take to the crease.

Bloods stand ready to take the crease

THE TARGET HAS been set at 80 per cent double vaccination, the scoreboard is ticking over at a solid rate as the supply of shots increase, whatever happens from here, whenever we reach the required rate, Warrandyte Cricket Club (WCC) will be ready.
We are a long way from going back to sport, and life as we knew it.
But sporting clubs are planning and putting in place the necessary work to ensure that when we finally return to play, it is done correctly.
Speaking to the Diary, Greg Warren from the WCC has outlined the plan for the club moving forward.

“Cricket Victoria are in control of the return date for all the leagues,” said Greg.

While no exact date has been set, Greg says the club and Cricket Victoria are working towards a return to training and competition in November.
Cricket Victoria are aiming for the weekend of November 6/7, which is earmarked as the first weekend after the lockdown ends, assuming the state hits its 80 per cent target.
This would be the best-case scenario, but Greg says that the association have several contingency plans, and the club will comply with any additional guidelines.
WCC need to work with Manningham Council to have a return to play and train plan in place, and Greg says, with regards to compliance “we are advanced as we can be”.

“We have a COVID Plan, and a return to play plan.
“And a hospitality plan so we can use the clubrooms.
“We have the QR codes which are a way of life, we did alot of this last year so this time around it is not as challenging.”

With so much out of the control of the club, the focus turns to making sure those who want to play, can play.
The season, whenever it takes place, is shaping as one with a good player turnout.

“We are confident, as club player registration is going well, at this stage interest is as high as it has ever been.” Greg said.

Just having numbers is not enough for WCC, the goal is to make sure that everyone feels included and everyone can play, regardless of their situation. In what has been a tough time socially and financially, WCC is committed to its players and the community.

“If a player is having trouble with a job, struggling to pay fees, and they want to play cricket, our first priority is to get them playing cricket, the fees come second.
“That’s our investment, the players and the community”.

The biggest struggle this season will be ground space.
With eight senior teams as well as juniors, womens, and veterans, plus a general increase in playing numbers across the competition, having enough grounds to play on will loom as the main 2022 challenge.
It will be important that any ground available is in top condition, and at Warrandyte Reserve, that process is well underway.
The cricket wickets are uncovered and new run-ups with hybrid grass / synthetic are being installed on both the centre wicket and training nets.
Then later in the month a new wicket cover will go on the centre pitch; all in readiness for the season ahead.

Photos: GREG WARREN

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     Growing opportunities for women’s and girls’ cricket

By SUSAN FOREMAN

WOMEN’S CRICKET is growing in popularity across Australia and the world, and Warrandyte is no different.
Girls’ Coordinator, Michelle Heffernan said Warrandyte Cricket Club is excited to be welcoming two Junior Girls’ teams to the club this season.

“After last year’s team success, the girls are looking forward to getting back out onto the field.
“With more girls interested in playing we can provide more opportunities fielding both stage one and stage two teams for the season,” Michelle said.

Girls aged 7–17 will have the opportunity to play and beginners are welcome.
Junior Girls play for free for their first year, so it is a great way to try out a new sport.
WCC Women’s Social team are also looking forward to getting back on the ground and will be fielding a team in the brand new Inner East Social Women’s competition.
This T20 competition is played every second Sunday and, with eight teams registered, is becoming increasingly popular.
Sharon Lyons from Cricket Victoria said they are looking keenly at Victoria’s roadmap to see when play can begin.

“It is looking like being a great competition, we are very excited,” she told the Diary.

Michelle said it is a “fantastic way to have a hit and have some fun on a Sunday”.
It is free to join, thanks to Eastern Cricket Association and Box Hill Reporter League.

“We are always looking for new players in the girls’ and women’s teams and look forward to welcoming you to the Warrandyte Cricket Club,” said Michelle.

For more details or to get in touch head to www.warrandytecc.com or email mheffernan1975@gmail.com

Girls Cricket team 2020/21

Run Warrandyte: Runners take your mark

GET YOUR diaries out and dust off your runners.
The team at Run Warrandyte have been busy as bees preparing for next year’s event and we are super proud to announce that Run Warrandyte 2022 will be held on Sunday, March 6.
All your favourite running events will be back in 2022, including the 2.5km, 5km, 10km, 15km and we will also see the return of the kid’s sprint — let’s get real, who doesn’t love a lolly bag.
We can honestly say that there is an event for everyone, whatever your age or your fitness level and with such a fabulous response to our newest event, we are thrilled to announce that the “tough as old boots” 21km will be back, catering for the hard-core runners and the daredevils in our community.
2022 will see the return of the Runner’s Village featuring sponsors, local businesses, entertainment and a selection of food and beverage options.
We sadly missed the Village in 2021 due to Coronavirus restrictions, but we are ever hopeful that 2022 will see a brighter outcome for community events, not to mention we love seeing your smiling, hot, sweaty, faces enjoying the post-run vibe and reliving how many times you ran up the Pound Road hill.
We will be reaching out for interest as the year progresses, so keep an eye on our socials if you would like to be involved in the Village.
Warrandyte Tips and Trails articles and our RW22 Runners Profile will also be a feature on social media this year, so we encourage the community to follow us on Facebook and Instagram and also sign up for newsletters via our webpage for all your Run Warrandyte information.
Lastly, we can’t run this event without the amazing sponsorship of community business and the brilliant donations we receive every year, so again we sincerely thank you guys for your support.
Our 2021 amazing sponsors included:
The Grand Hotel, Quinton’s IGA, Ringwood Warrandyte Osteo, Swift Caravans, Charlie Bins, Johnson Reimer, Long Life Health Care, Just Water, Oxygen8 and of course our major sponsor the Community Bank Warrandyte.
We are always looking for sponsorship, so if your business would like to come on board, we would love to have you.
Registration will open in September, so stay tuned.

To find out more, find Run Warrandyte on Facebook and Instagram or visit their website runwarrandyte.com

Cricket gets set for 2021/22 season

PREPARATION IS WELL underway at the Warrandyte Cricket Club (WCC) for the upcoming season. Despite the disruption and impacts last season due to Coronavirus, the Club heads into 2021/22 in great shape. At the recent AGM, re-appointed President Bill Stubbs detailed how — despite COVID-19 — the club increased participation levels and community involvement last season. For 2020/21, WCC had its highest ever number of members, teams, and sponsors.
“It’s a great reflection of how in uncertain times, that importance of sport and the sense of community is vital.”
He then went on to talk about how the club plans to build on this success and strengthen community bonds.
“WCC is committed to providing a safe and friendly environment where all members can join in and participate, regardless of age, gender, or ability”, said Stubbs.
WCC will provide participation from Junior Blast for the littlest cricketers (5–8 year-old), Juniors from Under 10s to Under 18s, Junior Girls team, Women’s Social program, Senior teams, and Veterans teams including Over 40s, 50s, 60s and for the first time ever an Over 70s team.
The club also announced some key leadership roles for 2021/22. Matt Whitbread has taken on the role of High Performance Coach and will be implementing focused coaching, directed towards the club’s best young cricketers.
Ben Taylor, a mainstay of the 1st XI for many years, has been appointed Firsts’ Captain. He brings a wealth of experience and leadership ability to the role and says he is looking forward to having an impact on the playing group.
“It’s incredibly exciting for me to lead the team.
“With so much young talent, I can’t wait for the season to start, and to work with our younger players in helping them become great first eleven cricketers.”
Martin Rakuscek will again lead the WCC Junior Program supported by a great group of Team Coaches.
Michelle Heffernan will continue to lead the Girls and Women’s Program and build on the great success of last season.
Mick Spence will coordinate all the activity for the Veterans, keeping the spirit of cricket going regardless of age.
Pre-season training has commenced and will run through August/ September at Saxon Sport in Croydon (Juniors, Girls, and Women on Saturday afternoons at 2pm and Seniors on Sunday mornings at 10am) Anyone interested in getting involved and joining the Warrandyte Cricket Club in any way, as a player, social member, volunteer or sponsor, please make contact via the website: www.warrandytecc.com.

Bloods back on top

FOOTY IS BACK following a suspension of play for Rounds 8 and 9 due to lockdown. Following a BYE in Round 10, the Diary were on the sideline for Round 11 on the weekend of June 25–26.

SENIORS
The Seniors had to wait just over a month to run back out on the park. In that time, Ferntree Gully had jumped to top of the ladder with only one loss for the year, setting up a top-of-the-table epic for Round 11 as Warrandyte played host to Ferntree Gully. Right from the start, both teams showed intent and a hunger for the contest, with a fast paced and high pressure opening term. Only accurate kicking spilt the two teams into the first change as the Bloods kicked seven straight to open up a commanding 21-point lead, setting the tone for the rest of the game. What followed was tough, fast paced, and uncompromising football from both sides; yet it was Warrandyte who were able to continue to pull away in the second term, largely due to the clearance work, clean possession, and high tackle pressure in the midfield, with Leo Garrick setting the barometer around the contest. Garrick’s ability to win the contested ball, apply phenomenal tackle pressure and find a teammate on the outside allowed the forward line first look, with skipper Michael Cullum and Key Forward Ryan Phillips looking dangerous every time the ball went into the forward line. However, Ferntree Gully were top for a reason, and the third term saw them even the contest around the ball, giving their forwards an opportunity to wrestle back momentum. Enter Josh Beasley, Kyle Thompson, and the rest of the defensive unit who repelled attack after attack with strong intercept marking and the ability to force Gully wide entering the forward half. Whenever Gully were able to find a way through, the Bloods had the answer, which continued into the final term as Joshua Meyes kicked three last quarter goals, to help hand the bloods a 46-point win. Garrick took out Best on Ground, but this performance was one that highlighted the quality of this team, with strong performances all over the park. Now sitting top with a game in hand, this win puts Warrandyte in a really strong position to attack the second half of the year.

Round 11

Warrandyte 18.7.115
def

Ferntree Gully 10.9.69

Goal Kickers: M. Cullum 4,
J. Meyers 3, R. Phillips 3, Q. Clark 2,
L. Dunn 2, N. Brooking 2, J. Appleby,
A. Dib

Best Players: L. Garrick, J. Meyers,
M. Cullum, J. Beasley, K. Thompson, O. Hodgson

Reserves

Like the Seniors, coming off over a month since their last game and facing second-on-the-ladder Ferntree Gully, who were in good form, this was always going to be a tough game. The first half was a tight and low scoring contest as both sides defensive set ups won out. Unfortunately for the Bloods, Gully were able to wrestle control of the game, with goals either side of the final term effectively ending the contest. The Bloods, despite a solid intent, were unable to get first hands on the footy, or spread from the contest as Gully showed cleaner hands and ultimately kicked away to run out 45-point winners. While a disappointing result, the Bloods are still in 4th with a game in hand and will look to learn from this and then reset for next week.

Round 11

Warrandyte 4.5.29

def by

Ferntree Gully 11.11.77

Goal Kickers: G. Hitchman 2, J. Deer,
M. Wilson

Best Players: L. Shelton,
S. Philip-Owen, L. Durran, C. Johnstone, T. Parker, M. Wilson

U19s

The U19s started the first half strong, largely due to the great link up and rebounding of the defence, allowing the Bloods to push out to an 18-point lead by halftime. Sadly, after halftime the U19s were out played and despite the defence holding firm, Gully ran out 8-point winners. A disappointing result but plenty of positives, Ben Vermeulen-Brown and Ben Munks had the ball on a string all game, while Sam Martini and Joel Tetlow provided plenty of spark all day. The result leaves the U19s in 6th with a 3–4 record.

Round 11

Warrandyte 6.5.41

def by

Ferntree Gully 7.7.49

Goal Kickers: D. O’Toole 3,
B. Tremayne, A. Humphris, C. Martin

Best Players: B. Vermeulen-Brown,
B. Munks, O. Bell, S. Martini, J. Tetlow, A. Humphris

Young Auskickers’ dreams come true

WITH FOOTY well and truly back on the weekend agenda, so many young boys and girls are back to dreaming of being a footy star just like their idols.
For two Park Orchards girls, Poppy and Abi, their dream has come true.
These best friends from Park Orchards North Ringwood Parish Auskick became the envy of thousands of Auskickers up and down the country when they were recently announced as NAB AFL Auskicker of the year nominees.
The girls outshone Seven’s broadcaster, Hamish McLachlan, during the network’s Friday night match interview in Rounds 3 and 7.
Joining 20 other nominees, Poppy and Abi will take part in the Grand Final Parade in Melbourne later this year and play on the hallowed turf of the MCG at half-time during the Grand Final game.
Staunch Hawthorn fans, Poppy and Abi live and breathe football, and have been taking part in their local Auskick program for the past few years.
Their dream is to one day play for the Hawthorn AFLW team.
“We are so excited,” echoed the seven-year-old girls.
This national competition celebrates the passion and dedication of thousands of children who attend NAB AFL Auskick centres every week.
“We are so thrilled and proud to see two of our very own following their dreams.
“Such an amazing opportunity for them both,” says Kate Gniel, Park Orchards Auskick Coordinator.
Auskick is an inclusive program designed to teach the basic skills of Australian rules football to boys and girls aged between 5 and 12, of all abilities.
To find out more or to register for your local Auskick centre visit play.afl/auskick

Kara Colborne-Veel flies high with the Pies

THINGS YOU may know about Warrandyte local Kara Colborne-Veel:

  • she works at Riverview Café,  
  • she loves her footy,
  • she grew up supporting Carlton. 

Things you may not know about Kara: 

  • she had a major injury to her ACL in 2017 at just 16 years old,
  • she works with the AFL as a Games Development Coordinator,
  • she plays in the VFLW for Collingwood. 

Playing her junior football at Bulleen-Templestowe, Kara says: “at the start I was like, it’s just footy I’ll have fun with it.”
When she started getting opportunities to play at a higher level she started thinking “maybe I could make something out of it, now I can just go for it.”
However, after just a few years, a major ACL injury forced Kara out of footy for around 18 months.
After an injury so early in her career, Kara said: “I thought, that’s it, that’s over for me because I don’t get the TAC route where everyone gets their opportunity.”
The TAC Cup Girls competition, which came into existence around the time of her injury, is a competition for women aged 16–18 to play at a higher level and hopefully lead to a pathway with the AFLW/VFLW.
For Kara the pathway was less conventional.
“I just took every other opportunity that came my way,” she said.
She spent a summer training with the Western Bulldogs VFLW as well as being recruited by Park Orchards.
After some impressive performances, she secured a spot on the VFLW list at Collingwood.
Kara has played five games this season for the undefeated pies, predominately in the forward line, and was named as an emergency in their 67-point win over Williamstown on May 1.
Recently with the completion of the AFLW, many of the players have returned to VFLW training; and because only a maximum of ten AFLW players can play in a match, the fight for spots, and training has become more intense.
Kara enjoys the training.
“It is good to have the AFL girls back because we get to learn off them, and they help us, they are like our mentors.”
She said AFLW Magpies co-captain Steph Chiocci has helped “big time”, but says the girls all help each other.
“It is hard work, but I love it,” she said.
Her main goal is to hopefully be drafted in a few years and play in the AFLW, however right now she says her goal is to stay on the VFL list.
“Staying at Collingwood would be really good because I love it there.”
The pathways available for entering the AFLW/VFLW are increasing, and many current female athletes are making the switch or playing both.
However, while enticing other elite athletes to the sport is important, growing the sport at the elite level means that a growth at the grassroots level is vital.
Kara herself has seen that change.
“When I was playing in the YJFL (Yarra Junior Football League) for Bulleen-Templestowe, there were maybe five clubs with women’s teams, we didn’t play against many teams.”
In fact, the inaugural season in 2011 had just 10 teams in an Under 18s “Youth Girls” competition, by 2019 that number had grown to 122 female-only teams across eight age divisions.
It is a sign that young women are starting to become more involved, and at a rapid pace.
While the opportunities at elite level are smaller, given the shorter season for the AFLW/VFLW, and less teams than the AFL/VFL, it also means that with a continued growth in the number of women playing.
More teams and opportunities will present for pathways to the elite level, allowing for a longer competition with more teams.
Kara says this “would be the ultimate goal, I would love for the girls to play the same season as the boys.”
For that to become a reality, it is vital that all those girls who want to play football, or who currently play know that those opportunities exist.
“The more girls that go to training, the more they will realise, something I feel which is that football is a home for me, its my second family and that’s why I love it so much, all the girls are like sisters,” she said.
From the whole Warrandyte community, (and this one-eyed Pies supporter) we want to wish Kara the best of luck for the rest of the season and we look forward to seeing her continue to achieve greatness in the years to follow.

Brady Poole claims Pascoe Medal

18-YEAR OLD Brady Poole claimed Warrandyte Cricket Club’s Steve Pascoe Best & Fairest Medal, becoming the second-youngest player to do so in the awards history.
Poole took out the “P”, along with the Gerald Walshe First XI Medal, with 23 votes after hitting 174 runs and taking 19 wickets in a stellar all-round season.
In front of a packed venue, last season’s winner, Josh Aitken, presented Poole the latest red and white striped jacket, a garment awarded exclusively to Pascoe medallists.
Poole, also Warrandyte’s youngest ever First XI debutant, claimed the club’s highest honour ahead of Craig Haslam (21 votes) and Second XI skipper Luke Warren (17 votes) in an exciting vote count.
Poole has compiled an impressive Warrandyte cricketing resumé already.
Moving from Sixth XI cricket to the First XI in the space of a season, debuting in the Ones at just 13, premiership player and captain and now a place among the club’s elite as one of the club’s Pascoe Medallists.
Just two votes behind in second, Haslam amassed seven half-centuries and 239 runs this season to win the inaugural Greg Warren Eighth XI Medal.
Warren claimed 25 wickets at an average of 13, claiming the Brett Kline Medal as the Second XI Best and Fairest to make it back to back awards after previously claiming the Third XI Award.
Third XI Skipper and U16 premiership Coach Brandon Stafford capped off a stellar season by winning the Nathan Croft Third XI Best and Fairest after claiming 28 wickets at an average of just 12.
Shaun Ison made it back to back Jim Gathercole Medals in the Fourth XI after hitting 176 runs and taking 15 wickets.
Drew El-Moussali was another back to back Best and Fairest winner, taking out his second Rob Leguier in as many years after topping the club run-scoring with 497 at a whopping average of 82.
At just 16 years of age, Isaac Rakuscek took out yet another Best and Fairest, claiming the Ivan Vojlay Medal after previously claiming the Seventh XI Award in 2019/2020.
Travis Jackson, a cricketer fondly referred to as ‘The Run Machine’, was the Andrew Thomas C with 262 runs to his name in 2020/2021.
The President’s Award was presented to Michelle Heffernan for her work in getting Girl’s and Women’s competitions up and running.
With last year’s full event cancelled due to COVID restrictions, a sizeable crowd walked down the literal red carpet into the Warrandyte clubrooms bringing the season proper to a close for the club.

Celebrating 10 Years of Run Warrandyte

A SOLD OUT Run Warrandyte set the pace for community events in Warrandyte in 2021.
On the last day of summer, 500 runners and walkers toed the line to celebrate 10 years of the annual community fun run.
Event organisers stuck to the now-familiar course, taking in the West End residential area and Pound Bend, but to add some spice, introduced a 21km version — four laps of the course.Although lapped courses are often less attractive, participants jumped at the opportunity for a Warrandyte half marathon, 69 runners took to the course on Sunday morning — including me, Warrandyte Diary’s very own “running reporter”.
A gloriously cool and misty morning made for optimal running conditions and runners, walkers and marshals enjoyed being immersed in our bush setting.For those who are curious, the Run Warrandyte course has just the right amount of hill to keep it interesting — and the runners “honest” — and some wonderfully runnable downs and flats which, if managed properly, makes for a fast course.
The fastest 5km event runners clocked 20-minute times, a trend which continued all the way through the running categories with Brynton Ashton — fastest male overall in the 21km distance setting a course record of 1:19:43, and Jessica Barbara setting the female course record at 1:38:42.

Brynton is a regular Run Warrandyte participant and in 2018 won the 15km event with a time of 1:02:50.In 2020, the 15km course record was set by Luke Walker at 59:29.
With Brynton managing a similar pace in 2021, with consistent sub-four-minute kms, while gaining (according to Strava) 400 metres of elevation over four laps — it is quick!
But while we can pour over stats and splits, Run Warrandyte is about celebrating our community, and exploring our bush environment.
The participants were diverse in background and ability but “the vibe on the run” was that everyone was glad to be back out in the open, with other people.
As always, the volunteers and the organising committee did a stellar job in keeping people safe and on course and I thank the marshals and organisers for putting on a wonderful community event.
Local MP Ryan Smith normally takes on MC duties at the event, but with the COVID changes, this was off the cards, so he took the opportunity to run the 5km course.
The popularity of Run Warrandyte is growing and as well as representatives from groups such as Victorian Ultra Runners (VUR), Westerfoldians and Generation Run; there were also runners using Run Warrandyte to achieve their 2021 running goals — such as Daniel Cole who is running 20 x 21km runs in 2021, with an official result from Run Warrandyte making this run number three.
The Diary spoke with Daniel about his challenge.
“I am 73 years old and prior to having my left hip begin to wear out, I was regularly running marathons and ultra-marathons, including the Boston Marathon, the Marathon du Medoc in France and the legendary Comrades race between Durban and Pieter Maritzburg in South Africa.
“I had a new hip in 2018 and ran one marathon in 2019, then not a lot of running events over 2020.
“So I decided that the perfect challenge for 2021 was to run 20 x 21s.”
Daniel went on to talk about his impressions of Warrandyte’s annual fun run.
“I was more than impressed with the organisation and conduct of the event.“Everything went smoothly, from acceptance of my late entry to my rather well towards the tail of the field finish, and the showbag at the end.
“The course is scenic, with challenging ascents and descents, pleasant views of the Yarra for those slow enough like me, to take it in, and cheerful encouraging volunteers along the way.“A really nice touch was the individual announcement of runners as they finished.
“Congratulations to all involved.”
On the day, water was supplied by Just Water, in containers made out of a plant based material which kept the litter to a minimum.
After running the three-lap version for a couple of years, the fourth lap — to bring it up to a half-marathon — felt like a gamble.
But it was a surprisingly enjoyable experience.
I am looking forward to seeing what the event committee have in store for 2022, especially when (one hopes) both the spectators and event village will be able to feature once again.

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East Metro Women’s Social Competition

SUNDAY SAW the Warrandyte Social Sixers Women compete in the first ever East Metro Social Competition, played against other Social Sixers participants from various other cricket clubs.
We were all very proud to represent the club and the Warrandyte community, and it was a great success.
The format was an eight-a-side, 14 over innings, with nothing taken too seriously, and we all had a laugh.

Round 1
Warrandyte Vs Koonung Heights

Warrandyte won the toss and decided to bat, we sent out our openers and we got the score ticking away nicely.
We lost a few early wickets after that, but our tail-enders were up to the task and held their ground.
We faced economical bowling from Koonung and ended the innings 7/52.
After tea Koonung sent out their batters.
We took a few early wickets, a catch and a run out and we were on track for an even game, their middle order then picked up the pace and the runs started to get away from us a little.
Koonung finished their innings with 5/94.
The score unfortunately did not reflect the quality of play from Warrandyte, but as the game was purely social and for fun, we all really enjoyed ourselves and the game.

Top Scorers
Batting
Ronda Arthur 11
Renelle Trayford 9
Jillian Garvey 5

Bowling
Sandi Miller 2/10
Samantha Saunders 1/11

 

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This Girl Can … Mountain Bike

WARRANDYTE Mountain Bike (MTB) Club has joined VicHealth’s This Girl Can program for a fun weekend of MTB action.
Wendy Snowball, President of Warrandyte MTB Club told the Diary the events were free, all participants need to do is register.
Saturday Morning is a beginner skills session, meeting at Beasley’s Car Park.
“All you need is a bike you can ride on the dirt, and an Australian standard helmet, to learn the ‘what’ and ‘how to’
of MTBing,” said Wendy.
Saturday Afternoon will be an intermediate ride, leaving from the Smith’s Gully General Store.

Register at:
warrandytemtb.com.au/events
Ladies Introductory MTB Skills
Saturday, March 27,
09am – 11am,

Warrandyte
Intermediate to Advanced Ladies MTB Ride
Saturday, March 27,
1pm – 3:30pm,
Smith’s Gully
These events are part of the This Girl Can initiative

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Running into 2021

Photo: Gavid D Andrew Photographer

WARRANDYTE’S celebrated community running event, Run Warrandyte, is toeing the line for a celebration of sport, health, and community as the event committee makes final preparations for its 10th anniversary run.
Preparation for this event is a year-long process and the uncertainty of Coronavirus restrictions has made planning for 2021 trickier than usual, but the Run Warrandyte Committee has sculpted an event to allow walkers, joggers and runners, of all abilities, to celebrate Warrandyte’s bush setting and the spirit of community in a COVID-Safe way.
Run Warrandyte committee representative, Michelle Bean, spoke to WD Bulletin about the challenges and changes to this year’s event.

“COVID created a challenge to our committee this year, as we had to come up with an event that would fit in with restrictions and also be flexible and adjustable to any potential lockdowns we might be back in on the February 28.
“We feel we have created something that fits those requirements,” she said.

Currently set to occur on Sunday, February 28, the event will be capped at 500 participants with an option to switch to a 30-day virtual option if Melbourne or Victoria is forced into another lockdown.
Michelle also notes a number of other, significant changes which will ensure this year’s event remains COVID-Safe:

  • No on the day registrations.
  • Separate start and finish lines.
  • Staggered start times (every 15 minutes).
  • No event village
  • No spectators

COVID-Safe measures such as hand sanitising stations, COVID Marshalls and face masks will also be a feature of the 2021 event, but Michelle says this will not take away from the fun of the day.

“We still plan to create a fun, community event, where our runners can run their favourite distances and receive their free 10-year celebration medal and backpack.
“We will also have spot prizes and goodies provided by some great local businesses and as always appreciate our sponsors: Charlie Bins, Warrandyte Ringwood Osteo’s, IGA, Harding Swift Caravan Services, The Grand Hotel and Project Clothing.
“We are excited to also announce a new 21km event and interest in this has been strong.
“This is alongside the regular 2.2km, 5km, 10km and 15km distances,” she said.

Staying hydrated and COVID-Safe

One of the biggest challenges for event organisers, and event caterers is how to provide food and drink in a convenient but COVID-Safe way.
Staying hydrated while exercising is important, and with high temperatures a distinct possibility for February 28, ensuring participants have access to water is vital.
The simplest method is to provide disposable, sealed containers, like bottled water, but this adds unnecessary waste to the environment and goes against Run Warrandyte’s mission to be as eco-friendly as possible.
Michelle told WD Bulletin Run Warrandyte has secured a partnership deal with a Victorian based company, who will provide water in containers made from plants.

“We are excited to announce our event partnership with the eco-friendly company Just Water.
“Just Water takes Spring Water that is sourced from Mt Warranheip in Ballarat, Victoria and packages it in plant based, eco-friendly cartons, made by Tetra Pak.
“The packaging materials and processes result in 75 per cent less harmful emissions, primarily C02, compared to a standard PET plastic bottle.
“The design of the carton was created to remain flat until it is filled with water, meaning Tetra Pak use only one truck to transport the cartons, compared to the same number of plastic bottles needing 13 trucks.
“Just Water and Tetra Pak will be providing water on course and at the finish line in 2021 to keep our event COVID-Safe for our runners.
“Being an eco-friendly event is super important to us and with this in mind, we feel Just Water and Run Warrandyte are a great fit,” she said.

Visit the Run Warrandyte website for more event details and to enter the 2021 event.

ISO mountain bike trails and tribulations

A YEAR OF ISO and a year of discovering the local mountain bike trails.
Warrandyte Mountain Bike Club (MTB3113) members will travel — far and wide — to test their skills and their bikes.
But not during ISO.
The 5km ring of steel and one-hour time limits meant riding had to be efficient and nearby.
Good thing we live in Warrandyte.
All well and good if you regularly ride the fire trails in the various pockets of State Park around Warrandyte.
Not so good if you are new to Warrandyte, connecting the dots can be tricky.
The signage is limited, nearly every track is called a “Bridle Trail”.
Unlike riding on rail trails, the Main Yarra Trail or other bike paths, there is at least a few signs (even though they still might require specialist geographical knowledge).
You only need to look to the Netherlands — the gurus of bike path signage — you cannot get lost there at all.
I digress, back to riding the hills in Warrandyte.
The State Park fire trails in Warrandyte are somewhat of a mystery.
I know there is always Google Maps, Strava, Trailforks and other online GPS mapping apps, but I like a good old map.
When I go to a new destination, I like to Google the local mountain bike club  — and check out their maps.
I do not really want to get lost out at Wombat State Forest or Warby-Ovens National Park.
We do not have a map of MTB trails in Warrandyte.
You cannot ride all the walking trails.
You need to know where you are allowed to ride.
Especially if you are starting out, or want to take your kids, or you are from “out of town”.
A nice little map — a map in town at our Warrandyte MTB trail head — a downloadable map on the MTB3113 website will, in my opinion , encourage more riding, and make sure you do not accidently find yourself struggling up “gut buster” or lost asking Colin for directions on Fourth Hill.
MTB3113 riders you have explored every corner of Warrandyte, you have created your favourite 5, 10, 15 and 20 kilometre routes, time for action.
Send us your favourite routes and with our expert team of cartographers and trail riders we will create those maps you’ve always wanted.
Send in your routes and loops to contact@warrandytemtb.com.au

Other MTB3113 news

Join the Facebook page to hear about local rides: www.facebook.com/groups/1464589467107634/
New jerseys available to purchase – pre order here:  www.warrandytemtb.com.au/shop/344/
Dirt Devils (weekly MTB skills for kids aged 8 to 14 years) has started up again under COVID-Safe protocols.
Led by qualified MTB coaches.

More information:
www.warrandytemtb.com.au/events/80589/

Stay tuned for the Christmas social ride and BBQ.
If you are interested in joining our family friendly club this is a great way to meet everyone.
Kids and adult social ride, then BBQ, at Westerfolds Park.

More information:
www.warrandytemtb.com.au/home/

Join MTB3113:
www.warrandytemtb.com.au/registration/

 

Painting the town red for cystic fibrosis

DID YOU NOTICE an unusual number of walkers and joggers, all dressed in red in Warrandyte on Sunday, 25 October?

It was hard to miss Team Gallop’s mass of 60 individuals and family groups from 15 local families who embarked on a mission to paint the town red!

Team Gallop embarked on their virtual Great Strides — a fun run and walk held every October — to raise awareness and funds for people living with Cystic Fibrosis (CF).

Usually held around The Botanic Gardens (the Tan) in Melbourne, this year’s event was fully supported by many virtually, with participants registering and running their own event locally.

For the 60 or so members of Team Gallop, this entailed running the beautiful streets and trails of Warrandyte.

CF is the most common, life-limiting genetic condition affecting Australians, and currently 3,500 people in Australia are living with CF.

There is no cure yet, but advances in treatment and care are helping people to better manage their CF.

CF causes an abnormal build-up of thick and sticky mucus in the lungs, airways and digestive system.

Treatment requires intensive daily physiotherapy to clear the lungs and airways, countless medications and frequent hospitalisations.

Warrandyte resident Claire Jones has a direct connection to CF, through her son, Jack.

“We first made contact with Cystic Fibrosis Community Care when our son Jack was born with cystic fibrosis in 2007, and we participated in our first Great Strides event that year.

“It was originally held around Princess Park in the city and I remember Jack sitting in the pram enjoying the view while we ran and pushed him around the park,” she said.

Karin Knoester, Cystic Fibrosis Community Care CEO spoke about how important the Great Strides event is to the charity.

“Great Strides is one of our biggest fundraising events.

“It allows us to raise money for vital services and programs, advocacy and research for the 1,600 people living with cystic fibrosis in Victoria and New South Wales.

“As a not-for-profit charitable organisation, Cystic Fibrosis Community Care relies heavily on the generosity of the Victorian and NSW public, as well as private donors and philanthropic sources.

“Currently, only 20 per cent of our income is provided by various levels of government, which is why events like these are so important,” she said.

Great Strides is a family-friendly event and is a great way to bring people together.

It is also a good way to remind us that while CF can sometimes be a hidden illness, there is a lot constantly going on behind the scenes in terms of physiotherapy and tablets taken daily.

“What we take for granted — being able to go out for a walk or run — isn’t always easy for others,” said Claire.

2020 has certainly delivered its challenges, but one of the positives has been the great community we live in, which Claire says was reflected in the Great Strides event.

“We had the biggest number of participants in our team this year, even though it wasn’t a typical fun run event.”

So if you spotted a red t-shirt or two puffing and panting (or maybe some were gliding) around the streets of Warrandyte, it was all in aid of a great cause.

Team Gallop collectively ran and walked over 420 kilometres in one day as part of the Great Strides virtual event and Claire wanted to give special mention to Meleah Byth who completed her first half marathon, as part of the event.

Information about Great Strides and Cystic Fibrosis Community Care can be found via their website www.cfcc.org.au.

 

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Running 1,300KM against family violence

By Jaime Noye

A group of 20 Warrandyte mums (and one bloke) banded together to run a total of 1,300 kilometres as part of a virtual challenge last month.

Runners and walkers alike were invited to participate in the 3rd annual Run Against Violence Virtual Team Challenge, a nationwide movement to raise awareness of family violence.

Run Against Violence (RAV) is a volunteer organisation whose purpose is to end the silence through starting constructive and comprehensive conversations around family violence.

Founder of the event, Kirrily Dear said “Our job is to engage the broader community in conversations about family violence, to reduce the stigma and isolation people who have lived with Domestic Family Violence feel”.

“When that stigma is removed people then share their story and reach out for help.

“We deliver awareness campaigns and community activities in order to create the platform for these conversations around family violence to be heard.”

To participate in the event, teams of up to 20 people were asked to run 1,300km in a 19-day challenge.

The goal was to travel the equivalent distance from Broken Hill to Sydney, starting August 30, 2020.

Local runner and run participant Michelle Chan said family violence is a significant problem in Australia.

“Our virtual run equates to 1.7 million steps.

“1.7 million is the estimated number of Australians who experienced physical abuse before the age of 15*,”she said.

Michelle is no stranger to a challenge.

You may have seen her in recent Diary editions running an Ultra Marathon of 50km in her backyard, or maybe you saw her last month dressed as a banana running around Warrandyte.

Michelle, for the second year running organised a local team to run the 1,300km in the Run Against Violence Virtual Team Challenge.

“With absolutely everything up in the air right now, having a goal to keep yourself active, is so important for our families and ourselves” said Michelle.

During the challenge, each member of the Warrandyte Mum Runners RAV team, ran within their 5km zones, uploading their daily distances online.

The team encouraged each other and regularly made two person running dates to motivate and keep each other on track, all the while adhering to the, then, one-hour-per-day restrictions for exercising.

Daily posts included images of where the team had been running, new local routes to be explored and the sunshining weather that began to emerge.

The daily activity ranged from family walks to others pushing as far as they could in the 60-minute limit, many striving for a PB.

That’s no mean feat in the hills of Warrandyte and Wonga Park!

Participants from the group cheered and encouraged each other to keep going.

With all-round virtual applause as each runner completed their individual kms.

One team member, Gen Stephens said “It’s the longest trip I’ve been on all year.

“Loved seeing everyone’s posts and running together/apart.

“What a wonderful bunch!”

Another team member, Maddy Wilson said “It was so lovely seeing everyone’s posts… feel like I need the next challenge to start to keep the motivation going!”

At the end of the 1,300km, Michelle praised the group.

“Together we contributed to the very important cause of raising awareness and preventing family violence.

“Thank you to everyone for being so positive and encouraging.

“This virtual challenge may be over, but we will still have our camaraderie,” she said.

Michelle is a champion for many local women to stay active, especially during these times of restrictions.

The Warrandyte Mum Runners RAV team are thankful Michelle was there to inspire and support each of them, to get out the door and take on a worthwhile challenge.

Information about the annual RAV challenge can be found via their website www.runagainstviolence.com.

*Sourced from ABS Personal Safety Survey 2016.

Bloods see change at the top end

By JOSH HUNTLY

WARRANDYTE Football Club is on the hunt for a new Senior Coach and President after Anthony McGregor and Jason Smith parted ways with the Bloods.

McGregor joined the club in 2018, and last season guided the senior side to their first finals series since the premiership winning year back in 2015.

He took the side from 11th to 3rd and an 11–7 record in the space of a season.

The club released a statement on his departure on August 7:

“The Warrandyte Football Club would like to formally announce that it will be seeking applicants for the senior coaching role for the 2021 season and beyond.

We are most appreciative of, and would like to thank, Anthony for all his hard work since joining to the club in 2018 and we wish him well with his future endeavours.

The club will now start the process of finding a suitable replacement to guide our talented playing group.”

The decision to re-open the senior coaching role has seen a task force made up of committee members and senior players begin the search for Warrandyte’s next coach.

Just four days after McGregor’s departure, first-year President Jason Smith stepped down from his role, with a statement from the club committee outlining the reasons for his departure.

“The committee of the WFC regretfully announces that Jason Smith has stepped down as Club President with immediate effect.

The role of the Club President is a pivotal one.

Jason had been reflecting on his position and felt that he no longer had the energy or capacity with his business and personal commitments to fully commit to the role.

That being the case he has made the difficult decision to resign.

The committee of the WFC would like to extend our sincere thanks to Jason for the work he has put into the role since his appointment.”

The Reserves and U19s roles remain unchanged, with the club announcing that Wayne Dalton and Clint Wheatley have been re-appointed respectfully.

Dalton joined the club this season after previously coaching at Scoresby Football Club, while Wheatley moved from the Reserves role into the U19s role to take charge of the young Bloods coming through the ranks.

Wheatley coached the U19s to their last flag in 2015.

Lynch trades the pads for the scrubs

Warrandyte local Rachael Lynch will have to wait until July next year to chase her second appearance at the Olympics due to the COVID-19 Pandemic.
As a registered nurse in 2020, however, the Hockeyroos goalkeeper has not had much time to dwell on the situation.
In fact, it came as a relief to the WA-based nurse that the Tokyo event had been postponed.
“To be honest it was a relief for me,” said Rachel.
“When all this started, I could see what was going on around the world.
“From my health background, I was conscious of the fact we needed to make a change, the way we are living in the community, and we were pretty late to start locking things down.”
Rachel also spoke of her relief, given the situation, when the Olympics were finally and officially postponed.
“When the Olympics were officially postponed, it meant we could stop training.
“I felt so guilty at training
“I was reasonably comfortable when it was postponed that I could step in and pick up the role as a nurse.
“At least with the postponement it only means another year — obviously, I would have hated it, if it had been cancelled.”
Australia’s professional hockey players were disbanded back in March and, with the women’s side based in Perth, many considered returning to their home states as border controls came into effect and the virus began to spread.
Now a full-time nurse, Rachel’s first and foremost thought was to help combat the growing risk.
“We all had the option to stay here [in Perth] or head back home.
“Obviously, no-one knew at the time it was going to go on this long.
“Given my work in the hospital I decided to stay.
“I tried to pick up extra shifts at the hospital, but I think the way everything worked obviously they shut a lot of wards down and there were plenty of nurses looking for jobs.”
With hospitals expected to be inundated, Rachel was not the only one rushing to assist.
“I tried to get a gig at the COVID clinic at two hospitals, but they filled up pretty quickly.
“I did that for a few weeks.
“They just got inundated with people wanting to help.
“My ward was pretty quiet, working in a rehab ward — it was quite surprising, everyone thought the hospitals would just be chaos but they were very much under control, prepared for what was to come.”
With mining currently one of the crutches of the nation, and WA, amongst the economical battering sustained by the extended lockdowns, it’s crucial that workers headed out to site aren’t compromised by COVID.
It is in this sector that Rachael is currently lending her expertise, managing testing sites across the state for a mining company.
“They’ve basically implanted a program where their workers and subcontractors do a COVID screen, so a proper swab test on every single person before they leave for site.
“They have to come through one of our facilities.
“We have seven facilities across WA with nurses doing swabs.
“Once they get cleared to go, they can go up to the site.
“It’s just our way of ensuring the mining industry is safe over here — despite everything that was going on, the country can’t operate without mining,” she said.
Tests conducted during a week can number up to 30,000 and the spread of sites across a sizeable area such as WA presents a challenging prospect.
“It’s one of those things they knew if one person got up to a mine site and spread it, the mines would shut down.
“They’ve invested a lot of time and money into this program.
“It’s a fair bit of travel around WA just overseeing from a medical point of view, making sure the processes are right.
“I think people are realising, as annoying as it is to have it done regularly, it means they’re safe, they’re going to a safe site, everyone around them is safe and they’re keeping their families and livelihoods safe.
“It’s a nice program to be a part of because we can ensure WA can continue as it has been, because they’ve done a good job here to keep it away.”
While the COVID swab test is notoriously invasive, Rachael has encouraged the “better safe than sorry” approach and says that a bit of medical perspective is helpful for those reluctant to take it.
“No-one necessarily enjoys it — I’ve had about six done on me just since I’ve started working here.
“It shouldn’t be painful, but it is uncomfortable — we’ve had plenty of tears from fully grown men.
But the procedure is fairly quick, around 20 seconds, and Rachael says, in her experience, there are worse things.
“I’ve been a nurse for a long time and there are way worse procedures done to people, so I don’t think anyone should be complaining really.”
WA’s health landscape is a marked comparison from Victoria’s current predicament and beyond the physical threat that the respiratory virus can pose, Rachael remarks that the emotional and mental strain is starting to become a toll on those currently under lockdown.
“The one thing I have noticed is the mental and emotional fatigue floating around.
“I think that’s true of everyone at the moment, certainly in the medical space.
“No one knows when this is going to end.
“We’re used to being able to give answers to things and I guess this is the same as a lot of illnesses, you just don’t know what the outcome is going to be.
“It’s just about being able to control your own frustrations and the pressures you feel so that you’re not projecting that on others.
“They said there would be a mental health toll and we probably got through it ok initially.
“With this second wave however, I’ve noticed it in my friends, friends with kids, certainly my own family, how much harder it was to hear the news that we were going to go back a bit.”
With borders around the country still closed, Rachael is currently unable to see her family in Melbourne.
“My dad’s in Melbourne, my brother is in Sydney and my Nan’s actually been in hospital for the past week which has been really hard.
“Obviously I can’t get there.
“Mum’s had to step up and take on a pretty solid carer role and my Nan is 89 so in a high-risk category.
“People want to provide her with support but you’re also putting her at risk.
“I’ve really struggled with that from a distance, I’m trying to help but I can’t and it’s scary to think that it’s only one person to walk into my Nan’s room and that could be it for her.
“Everyone has their own situation they’re trying to manage and everyone’s torn.”
In the current environment, Rachael Lynch is a nurse first and athlete second and her message is clear to everyone in the fight against Coronavirus.
Do the things that need to be done.
A message that remains unchanged.
“There’s still plenty you can do.
“That involves washing your hands, staying at home and all those things we’ve been saying since the very beginning.
“People are just exhausted, it’s just providing that emotional support at the moment, wherever it’s required.
“We are all in this together and if we don’t all do the right thing, you can see what can happen.”

Day set to star on national stage

SOPHIE DAY’S cricketing journey has taken her from Warrandyte cricketer, talented Premier League all-rounder and now to a place among the game’s elite as a squad member of the Victorian Women’s Cricket team.

Day’s transition to state cricketer was confirmed on June 24 when Victoria released their 2020/2021 squad, and the former Warrandyte star will take her place at the state’s top level, after several good seasons for the Plenty Valley Cricket Club in the Victorian Premier Cricket competition.

Day will be linking up with multiple Australian superstars such as skipper Meg Lanning and Ellyse Perry in a talented Vic squad.

In recent Premier Cricket seasons, Day has cemented herself as a key batsman for the Plenty Valley Bats with 1,070 runs in four seasons but her talents as a spin bowler yielded 42 wickets at an average of 24, confirming her status as reliable all-rounder.

Before her time in Premier Cricket, Day, the daughter of Warrandyte Cricket Club legend Cameron Day, took the field for the club on numerous occasions, from Under 16s through to the clubs 3rd XI.

Day is one of five new signings for the Victorian squad and with no word yet from Cricket Victoria on whether the start of the WNCL will be affected by Coronavirus, she is expected to begin training shortly in preparation.

Day on her way to a match winning 40, Dec 2018 Plenty Valley vs Box Hill
Photo: ARJ GIESE

Community sport receives timely economic support

WARRANDYTE’S COMMUNITY sports clubs have been the recipients of several of the first round of Community Sport Sector COVID-19 Survival Package grants.

Member for Eastern Metropolitan Region, Sonja Terpstra announced 12 grants of $1,000 have so far been approved in the Warrandyte area.

Ms Terpstra announced that successful Warrandyte electorate clubs include: Donvale Bowls Club, Donvale Football Club Inc, Park Orchards Cricket Club, Wonga Park Wizards, Warrandyte Football Club, Warrandyte Netball Club, Warrandyte Sporting Group and the East Doncaster Cricket Club.

“Warrandyte clubs are an integral part of our community and this support will help them pay the bills and make an eventual return to play that little bit easier,” she said.

Community sport has taken a substantial monetary hit during these times and under the criteria outlined in the package, leagues and associations have been able to apply for a $15,000 grant while individual clubs can apply for a $1,000 grant to offset lost revenue.

Clubs could potentially take a cut of the Governments $2.7 billion Building Works stimulus package as well, with $68 million to be set aside for infrastructure works.

These are welcome announcements as the State Government begins to wind back Coronavirus restrictions, but some local leagues are still weighing up whether to resume play.

Eastern Football Netball League clubs, such as Warrandyte, await word on the status of the 2020 season following a meeting of the league’s CEOs.

While “Grass Open space” such as unlocked spaces and parks remain open to the community for recreational sport and exercise, a return to full-blooded training is not yet permitted after no exemption was made for sides to return to team-based activity.

The league’s board will meet in the early part of June to discuss the financial viability and general safety of a return to play but in the meantime, clubs can resume sanctioned training as of June 1, albeit under several restrictions.

Training will be limited to 20 people, in line with new government guidelines, but rumours of return-to-play protocols possibly fashioned in the style of those issued by the West Australian Football Commission paint a bleak picture for the future of the season.

At the start of June, Manningham Council restrictions remain in place and the return of Warrandyte tennis remains under a cloud as the courts located in Warrandyte and South Warrandyte fall under the continued closure of pavilions and facilities.

Tennis coaching has resumed at Warrandyte’s courts and the building works on the clubrooms continue.

At this stage, there is no sign of competition resuming.

Park Orchards BMX club returned to the track on May 23 with a maximum of 10 riders in at a time and their hiatus forced the club to get creative with their training routines.

The community continued to keep in touch online with the club’s coaches recording training videos for online distribution while parents reciprocated with videos of their children training and carrying out their at-home practice.

Terri McKinnon says everyone is excited to see operations back up and running, especially the kids.

“The kids really miss seeing each other and hopefully now that we’re able to train in small numbers I think the morale will kick back up.

“Really the kids just want to be on the track having fun.”

While the greens at Donvale Bowls Club have fallen silent, the club has been busy preparing for its eventual reopening.

Following a season where four pennant sides played finals and two sides were successful in winning flags, has been busy appointing its coaches and committee for its reopening says Rob Fairweather.

“Obviously the Coronavirus that befell us and the world in general, brought everything to a halt,” he said.

“But with a partial light shining, Donvale Bowls Club is busy preparing for another productive and successful season.”

Warrandyte Netball Club returned to full training on May 21 after Netball Victoria announced that optional club training could occur at outdoor venues, initially in groups of 10.

From June 1, protocols were adopted under new return-to-training guidelines including using outdoor venues exclusively, with no more than 20 participants, as per government restrictions, and maintaining 1.5m social distancing.

At this stage, basketball is still on the bench.

In May, Basketball Victoria outlined their return to sport guidelines which includes a “reactivation level” system to help clubs determine what activities and group number caps are in place as the Coronavirus situation evolves, as well as the creation of a “Biosafety Officer” role at venues.

June 22 is scheduled to be the day indoor recreation venues open, so some sort of indoor group training at Warrandyte Basketball Club may be able to resume on that date, but at the moment, all the club

Run an Ultramarathon at home

IN MID APRIL, North Warrandyte resident Michelle Chan set out to complete a home isolation ultra-marathon — which is a continuous run of more than 42.2 kilometres within the confines of one’s own property.

After 9 hours, and 294 laps of an approximately 150-metre-long loop of her block, she had done it.

Michelle joins a growing number of global runners, who have managed to find a way to continue to do what they love: to run a long way, for a long time, within the scope of their country’s restrictions.

In some countries, runners have done this by running laps of their balcony or their dining room table (with some courses measuring a mere 30 metres).

In the pre-COVID-19 world, Michelle was preparing to tackle her first 100-kilometre event, Surf Coast Century in Lorne in September.

In April 2019, she finished her first 50km event in the Blue Mountains at Ultra Trail Australia (UTA50).

“After completing UTA50 with some friends, we started planning some events out, so I did Two Bays in January, the 56km, and the other plan was to do Surf Coast Century.”

But training for a large event such as Two Bays or Surf Coast Century is a very different experience to waking up one day and deciding to hang laps around the yard.

“So all the other nutters on the Victorian Ultra Runners (VUR) Facebook Page started doing these iso runs during Stage 2, and I like challenges.

“Being in Warrandyte, I don’t have a small back yard so I thought it was possible.

“I had a few other friends do it, I planned a weekend with nice weather and then once I said it, I had to do it.

“I had been planning it for a few weeks and it wasn’t until my husband started analysing my route around the garden as well, I thought ‘okay, I’ve got my support crew’”.

The Victorian Ultra Running community may have upward of 2,600 members but it is a community who know each other, VUR founder, and Doncaster resident, Jon Lim has been responsible for several social challenges, which see members hitting trails for elevation or distance, so I asked him why there had been so much appeal when he first suggested the community took up the challenge of running a self-isolation ultra at home.

“It was the community; it has always been about the community.

“I posted the question about the isolation ultra and within a week, seven people had done it, and they were all wearing their VUR tops — I had people messaging me asking if they can get a top so they can run their isolation ultra in it.

“People just want to be part of that community, you know — with a group like that, if you suggest an idea, you often don’t have to push very hard to get people to do it.”

Seeing uptake of the idea, Jon asked Melbourne based running coach Chris Wright to administer the Self Isolation Running Facebook group, which has grown from being a small offshoot of the VUR Facebook Group to a truly international affair with some of its 1,300 members in the UK, Spain and the USA.

I asked Chris where he thinks the attraction lies in running laps of one’s property.

“I think once that seed of ‘I can possibly do this’ takes root then ‘boom’, they’re off.

“I think having a safe forum where they can celebrate it is also what attracts people,” he said.

Another feature of the home ultra movement has been the extent in which people are documenting their runs.

While some are simply uploading photos and screenshots of Strava, others (and there are quite a few) have shot video, even livestreamed their attempt via Facebook.

“It’s great to watch, it’s a bit like test cricket, you know there is not much happening but it is nice to check in to see if anything has happened.

“It adds a bit of accountability too, there could be people there who have been cheering you on, so when it gets hard, to have that bit of leverage and support from social media goes a long way.

“For people whose hobby and love is being outside and in remote areas, this situation has caused people to change the way they do things to hit those core values, and it has mutated to be something that is really amazing.

“In these times where there is so much political stuff going on, maybe there is something quite refreshing about watching someone run 50 kilometres in their backyard, on a live feed, and not to have to worry about [things like] the toilet paper that has run out on the shelves of the supermarket,” said Chris.

As in other areas, and as has been documented in other parts of this edition, it is a sense of community, and of one’s own accountability driving people to do these extraordinary things in unusual times.

For Michelle, with her home-grown support crew and friends who “deliberately went for their walks” at the same time to cheer her on mid-way, she did not need to resort to livestreaming for her own attempt.

Although she has no intention of running nearly 300 laps of her yard again, the community around her has celebrated her achievement.

The big question now is: when will I run my first home ultra?

 

WCC’s Under 18s Grand Final thriller

Photo courtesy Warrandyte Cricket Club Facebook page

THE MIRACLE on Grass had nothing on the ending of the Under 18 Grand Final.

Many in the Warrandyte cricketing fraternity will remember where they were on the final ball of the day, when Halley Simpson’s straight drive brought up the game-winning four and a maiden Under 18s Premiership.

A non-result would see first-placed Nunawading take the title and with rain forecast for day two of the fixture it was win or go home.

The feisty Box Hill Reporter decider had it all.

A screamer from behind the stumps, a smashed car windshield, an extraordinary batting collapse and a nerve-rattled Warrandyte crowd.

The visitors were handed the pink kookaburra in the twilight match to get the game underway.

Giant-killers strike hard with the ball

Warrandyte 7/102 def Nunawading 99
B Haslam 4/8 & 11, B Poole 26 & 2/22, C Rakuscek 22 & 2/17

Co-captains Brady Poole and Chris Rakuscek took the new ball and were faced with locking down Nunawading’s star batsman; a player who, until the Grand Final, had averaged 107 for the season.

Reputations mattered little to Poole.

On the sixth ball of his first over, he had Nunawading’s star player out for a duck, trapped LBW to get the innings off to a flyer.

Valuable wicket would be understating it.

The score-line quickly read 2/11 after Rakuscek joined in to claim his first of the day, caught behind by wicket-keeper Flynn Whetters.

Nunawading recovered with a 58-run partnership in the middle overs, but this would be the bulk of their runs for the innings as Warrandyte’s bowlers began to up the carnage.

Tom Jackson rolled in and ripped the partnership in two, taking the wickets of both batsman very quickly, to wrench back the momentum.

The 22nd Over took full marks for pure bowler devastation, courtesy of Blake Haslam in the first over after drinks, one the home side would never recover from.

Ball one saw Haslam’s delivery clatter into the stumps for an immediate strike.

Three searing dot balls followed as he continued to unsettle the opposition.

Ball five caught the outside edge at pace and looked to be going well past Flynn Whetters behind the stumps — until he stuck out the glove to reel in a one-handed screamer.

Ball six also caught the edge but Whetters was able to easily drag it in for Haslam’s third wicket of the over.

A game-changing one.

Poole returned in the 23rd and claimed a crucial wicket-maiden.

Warrandyte had claimed 4/0 to send Nunawading tumbling to 8/76.

A mini tail-order resistance at the end was disrupted by Rakuscek with a sharp caught and bowled for the ninth wicket.

Blake Haslam took the honour of the 10th, finishing with a marquee performance of 4/8 and helping to bundle out the opposition for 99.

The equation was now deathly simple.

With 13 overs to bat and rain on the horizon for day two, Warrandyte would need 100 runs on the dot for Premiership glory, with their batsman allowed the license to hit.

Ice-man Simpson etches himself into the history books

The message from Warrandyte’s skippers was clear.

Go, and go hard.

Harry Brown and Chris Rakuscek were charged with getting the innings underway and Brown enthusiastically swung the bat with vigour to get Warrandyte off to the perfect start — 11 runs off the first over.

Rakuscek got off the mark with three runs and Brown crunched one to the mid-on boundary before he was forced to depart after being caught.

Blake Haslam took no time settling in with a couple of boundaries before he was caught for 11 and Brady Poole signalled his intentions with a first-ball four.

At the end of the sixth over Warrandyte found themselves 2/50 with the game well and truly in the balance.

The two co-captains went to work and managed to put on a 46-run partnership.

Controversy reigned as Poole was seemingly dismissed on a no-ball and after being re-called proceeded to launch the only six of the match, a towering shot straight over the bowlers head and squarely into the windshield of Bailey Bowyers car.

Poole was eventually dismissed for 26 off 23 deliveries and with three overs to go and 22 needed, the intensity was ramped up to 100.

Max Coutts was sent in to club a few runs and managed a boundary before he was dismissed.

Rakuscek departed for an anchoring 22 off 22.

Tom Jackson received a less than enthusiastic reception to the middle and he was suddenly dismissed to reduce Warrandyte to 6/87.

Tom Heffernan came in and with no hesitation launched a valuable boundary to cow corner, but his subsequent dismissal on the second ball of the final over left the score at 7/92.

Eight runs to win, Halley Simpson and Gus Ramsdale at the crease.

A ghostly Warrandyte crowd couldn’t take it.

Several were on their haunches, but they needn’t have worried.

Simpson’s first ball was dispatched for four runs.

He played the fourth ball of the over for two runs.

Two runs needed for victory.

A dot on the second last ball of the day had the crowd on the edge of their seat.

Two off the final ball would secure the Premiership for Warrandyte.

The bowler placed his delivery on a length and with absolutely no hesitation whatsoever, Simpson pounced on it with a textbook, lofted straight drive over mid-off.

Even before the ball hit the fence, the team and the crowd were in raptures and members of both groups alike rushed to the middle to swarm Warrandyte’s hero.

Warrandyte had secured their inaugural flag by three wickets.

 

Exercise like no one is watching

WOMEN ARE constantly bombarded with imagery of women with so-called “perfect” bodies working out without even breaking a sweat.

It sends a message that there is something wrong with us if we don’t look like that.

Women should not feel like exercise isn’t for them because they don’t have a six-pack or the latest active wear.

That’s why This Girl Can celebrates all women’s bodies getting active — wrinkles, jiggles, red-faces and all.

The campaign, which features real Victorian women instead of professional athletes or toned Instagram models, last year inspired an incredible one in five Victorian women to get moving.

The campaign is empowering women to smash their fears of judgement and intimidation holding them back from being active.

Before the campaign, VicHealth research showed a staggering 52 per cent of Victorian women worried about being judged while exercising.

Now over three quarters of women who’ve seen the campaign feel it has helped women increase their confidence and overcome their fear of being judged when being active.

More than 400,000 Victorian women have been empowered to get active as a result of the This Girl Can campaign.

The This Girl Can launch in Nillumbik was attended by Eltham local and Richmond AFLW star Sabrina Frederick, who said public life was a “constant battle between what other people think and what you are doing”.

“When I started playing football, it was a very male-dominated sport and you get it into your head that it’s not for you or you’re not strong enough,” she said.

“But as time goes on you get more confident.

“Over time you realise it’s not about other people, it’s about what you want to do and what you want to achieve.”

VicHealth’s Melanie Fineberg says the program isn’t about making women feel bad about not exercising enough, it’s about celebrating what they can do, whether that’s a walk around the block or a few laps of the pool.

“We want to help women focus on the feeling of being active, instead of their worries about being judged, by showing a range of everyday women being physically active regardless of their background, ability, age or body shape,” Melanie said.

Women can get involved in a range of fun, inclusive, free or low-cost events being held right across the state as part of This Girl Can Week kicking off on March 23.

Local councils are offering a range of programs as part of the initiative.

Spokesperson for Manningham said: “Council is committed to helping women in Manningham to get more active and lead healthy lifestyles”.

She said to support active living, Council is focused on establishing programs that encouraging physical activity and reducing barriers to participation.

Manningham Council is offering over 30 free classes and activities to women of all ages.
A local highlight is free dancing in the dark with No Lights No Lycra (NLNL).

On Wednesdays, March 18 and 25 2020 Manningham Council is hosting NLNL in the Warrandyte Mechanics Hall.

At this event the lights will be turned off and the tunes will be cranked up so participants can release their inhibitions, move their moods and work up a wild sweat.
NLNL organiser Kim Hunting Thompson said these classes were an extension of the existing popular program she runs at the Mechanics Hall each week.

Kim says Council have also invited her to run the program in Templestowe on Mondays during This Girl Can Week.

Registration for these free sessions is available through the Manningham Council website.

Manningham are also hosting come-and-try clinics in AFL, Hockey, Netball, Volleyball and Lawn Bowls, as well as bike riding lessons and social walks.

Nillumbik Council’s Communications Officer Natalie Town said Nillumbik took part in the program for the first time last year.

“It was such a success we are doing it again this year,” she said.

All of Nillumbik’s five sport and leisure centres and the Yarrambat Golf Course are getting involved again, as are many local sporting clubs.

Eltham Leisure Centre is offering special free classes from March 23–29, everything from Meditation to Spin classes, to Zumba, with free childcare for some sessions.

For more details and to register go to elthamleisurecentre.com.au

Yarrambat Park Golf Course is offering free golf for women during This Girl Can Week, with clubs supplied, plus special clinics for women.

Full details at mygolf.org.au and search ‘Yarrambat’.

Or for something a bit different, head to Skaterz in Eltham for some Roller Derby action.

Find activities and register for events at thisgirlcan.com.au or via your Council’s website: nillumbik.vic.gov.au/thisgirlcan or manningham.vic.gov.au/thisgirl-can.