Ginninderra’s Tiny Tigers – Week 2

Week 2 of the winter program coincided with the Canberra cold snap, a top of 9 degrees with wind and rain – conditions more suited to a game of rugby rather than athletics! However parents and kids were not deterred, with a strong turn-out for Tiny Tots on both the Wednesday afternoon and Saturday morning.

The theme for this week was Mother’s Day, with Mums (and Dads, Grandparents, Aunts and Uncles) encouraged to get involved with their kids, and a choccie surprise at the end a good reward! This week I had the pleasure of working one-on-one with Cameron, one of our older Tiny Tots living with autism. Cameron is a vibrant young boy, with endless amounts of energy, constantly challenging me to keep up with him – if only I could match his energy levels!

The Tiny Tots program attracts kids of wide ranging abilities by providing an inclusive and fun environment for them to thrive and reach their full potential. There’s something for everyone – with activities modified to suit the abilities of all kids involved and one-on-one support available.

The theme for week 3 is jungle day, so come dressed up as your favourite jungle animal, bring along a friend, and get ready for some jungle fun!

Megan Mayoh

Winter is coming


Behind the Blocks – Week 2

This week was just as full on as the last one, with meeting more people, having more fun and pushing myself to meet little goals both personally and for my internship.

 This week I again attended the FAST training session at the AIS Track and Field centre. After we warmed up, we got into teams of 3 or 4 and participated in a 200-metre continuous relay. The aim of this activity was for each group to run consistent times every run and to focus on their pace. I ran in a group with Steve and Rose and we consistently stayed around the time of 42 seconds each lap. For me, this time was pretty good as I haven’t run competitively since year 12, which was 4 years ago! And when I mean compete competitively, I am referring to our school sports carnivals. Whilst I was running I was also getting pretty tired as we were running at 70% and I was pushing myself to keep going. As I was getting tired I started to focus on my arm movements, as Steve pointed out that the faster you move your arms the more they work your legs. This is something that has stuck in my head since my first day.

On the Saturday, we had our second Winter Wonderland day. Although the weather was threatening, we continued to set up each station of activities. Around 50 kids and parents joined in to have fun, learn new skills and to keep warm. Throughout the morning I was taking pictures again of all the participants, mostly focusing on capturing their emotions of smiling and having fun with each other. Towards the end of the session it started to rain, however everyone kept participating in the activities which showed willingness and determination for each participant to improve on their skills and fitness levels.

On Sunday we journeyed to Governor General’s Hill, which I was dreading after everyone on Thursday mentioned how intense and hard it was. We started with our usual warm ups but added in calf stretches and leg swings as the hill is pretty steep and a hard surface. As I am not a fast or long-distance runner, I was placed in the shorter distance group which was still a struggle to complete. Our group ran 230 metres to start off with, which was challenging as you started at the bottom of the hill and could see how far you had to go, which was pretty daunting. Next, we did 150 metres, which was much easier to complete, however my legs were starting to get tired and stiff. Next, we completed two stints of 100 metres which I found relatively easy as well, as it is a shorted distance. Overall, I completed the 150 metre and 100 metre stints much quicker and found it easier as my competitive side came out as I wanted to beat the boys who started at the same time as me, but at a longer distance. Throughout each run I was constantly focusing on my arms as I am trying to break my habit of my arms crossing my body when I run to allow for more movement and drive. After each run we had approximately 4-5 min recovery – which was unquestionably the best thing ever!

Overall, this week has provided me with both learning opportunities and experiences. I am thoroughly enjoying all my sessions under Steve’s guidance and hope that the next few weeks provide me with more opportunities to improve both my sprinting abilities and my understanding of training from an athlete’s perspective.

Lindsay Mitton

Winter is Here – Week 2

This was an interesting week for me at Ginninderra. As you all know our first week of the winter season, so this week was the first time I had been a part of a team meeting. All of the new interns and our supervisors met up to evaluate how the first week went. There was some good evaluation points that were brought up. Which was a great learning process for me because there were things that I was or not doing that I didn’t even notice. Things like taking charge a little bit too much and not allowing the junior coaches to get involved.  For me personally this was the first time I had sat down in a “work orientated” meeting with the team. I also learnt that for long term projects such as these that weekly meeting to track the progress become essential. I never really realised that the members are paying for a service so it becomes our responsibility to deliver that service to the best of our ability. The only way that it can happen is by constant evaluation. As I mentioned in last week’s posts that University tries to give us this feel by putting us in group assignments. The difference is that working with professional like our supervisors is the difference in maturity. They have the ability and the confidence to turn around and say “we can do better, there are things that we thought would work and didn’t” where as in university groups you usually have a group member that believes there is nothing wrong with their work or believes they are smarter than everyone in the group. So being a part of a functional team with some clear guidance is a refreshing change.

These meeting will be taking place on a regular basis to make sure that we are keeping on top of the delivery of our winter season. So I look forward to receiving the constructive criticism to better the winter season for our members.

Week two of the winter season has come to an end and it was a successful weekend despite the less than favorable weather. The weekend was cold and raining and we still had basically the same number of kids show up for Tiger Cubs and Tiny Tots which is fantastic. Shows that people are supportive of the winter program and look forward to seeing more kids be a part of it. This week I decided to take a slightly less involved role due to the feedback I received. This week instead of taking charge and leading the activities. I decided to let the junior coaches lead the activities. I found this worked really well because the junior coaches are more experienced than me when it comes to coaching this age group. I ended up floating between activities and encouraging the parents to get involved as well as getting involved myself. This worked well because it seemed that the kids were responded to the junior coach’s well and the parents responded to me a little bit better than they did to the Junior Coaches. I think this may be due to the age difference and the language used. I struggle to use instructions that the kids easily understand and I find myself explaining too much and the kids get lost. When the JC’s talk to the parents they are a bit timid and shy because they aren’t used to telling people older than them what to do. I don’t have as much of an issue speaking to parents and adults because I am an adult myself. Because of that I also think the adults respond slightly better because they don’t mind being told what to do by another adult.

Alex Gill

Ready, Set, Nat – Week 1

Hello, my name is Natasja Vasta and I’m currently in my final year of Sport and Exercise Science at the University of Canberra. As part of degree I required to participate in an internship within the sporting industry. This so, I gain practical skills within the industry and this will prepare me for graduation and for the work force. UC Ginninderra Athletics Club was happy to take me under their wing with this new life experience. Thank you, Steve and the team, for this amazing experience.

To start of my journey with GAC, I had an initial meeting with Steve where he summarised what GAC had to offer me, both personal and professionally. For my first session of the winter season, I assisted with the Cross Country with Brian Daly and Steve. This event was at Charnwood athletic field, we started the session with a small basic warm-up, before they started their run. There was a group of 18 participates which had a choose of distance they would like to run, 1.9km, 3.7km or 5.6km. Only the 2 boys dared to run the 5.6km, they ran it under 40 minutes. The overall afternoon was fun and an amazing experience for me.

For my second session of the winter season, I assisted Steve with the Winter Season Track and Field day starting bright and early on Saturday the 5thof May. As the team knew I was excited to work with young athletes, I was involved with 9 and older ago group with Steve. The group was jam-packed with energy and was ready to run around. This made me more excited and less nerves as the day went on. This morning session was very eye opening and I can’t wait for what next session has to offer.

I was very lucky to be involved with three different session this week, the last session was also with Steve at Stromlo Forest Park with the FAST group. For this session I didn’t really know what Steve wanted from me. However, I soon worked out what it was, this session was the hardest of the three. Steve wanted us to have an understanding of what we were teaching the athletes. Which meant we had to run the 500m loop with the athletes, the idea involving with this session was to build and improve the athlete’s endurance levels. There was one key tip that I took from this training, which was that technique is important and that the movement of your upper body and arm will aid your knees when you are exhausted. This session was by far the hardest, however it was also my favourite out of the three sessions.

Thank you again Steve and the team for this amazing week of learning. I’m looking forward for what next week hold for me. Thanks

Natasja Vasta

Ginninderra’s Tiny Tigers – Week 1

Hi, my name is Megan Mayoh and I am currently in my final year of studying Sports and Exercise/Science in Psychology at the University of Canberra. To complete my course I am required to undertake an internship with a sporting organisation to gain practical experience and prepare me for graduation. I was fortunate enough to be given a chance by UC Ginninderra Athletics Club with Steve and the team.

My journey with GAC started with an initial meeting with Steve and Fiona where they outlined all that GAC had to offer both professionally and personal, a lot of information to take on board but I was up for the challenge. Our next meeting involved Steve, Fiona, and all UC interns (whose blogs you will also have the pleasure of reading), Steve and Fiona outlined their plans for the winter season and where we interns would fit in to that plan. We all left the meeting feeling excited about what’s to come for GAC in the coming months.

My first day was on Saturday the 5thof May. I arrived at the oval bright and early, nerves at an all-time high, but excited to get involved. Due to my previous experiences coaching young kids I was involved with the Tiny Tots program with Fiona, Debra and some of GAC’s talented young coaches. The day started off with a bang, with approximately 30 kids aged 3-4 participating in the program. Tiny Tots focusses on teaching young kids fundamental movement skills in a fun and inclusive environment. Fundamental movement skills are an essential precursor to learning more technical skills. The hour long program felt like it only lasted 5 minutes – time flies when you’re having fun! I had a blast!

I’m excited to be back for week 2 of the winter program and am looking forward to getting further involved with the club, and gaining experience in all areas.

Megan Mayoh

Winter is coming