Winter is Here – Week 3

Week three of the winter season was a success. The number of people showing up is consistent which is great to see. Means that people are enjoying what we are delivering. Whilst it was cold the rain did not bother us this week so we were able to complete the full program. Once again we had some terrific parent involvement this weekend. I really do think that the parents are starting to enjoy it just as much as the kids. It was even better to see the parents helping us pack up all the activities. Ginninderra really appreciates all the help it can get because a lot of the people bringing the members all this great stuff are volunteers. Any extra help we get from the parents means it makes the volunteers life easier and everyone can get out of the cold sooner.

I have been so excited about our winter program and working with the kids, I have neglected to talk about our fantastic cross country events. Our cross country events happen at different places around Belconnen every Wednesday at 4:45pm. They are run by our fantastic long distance running Coach Brian Daley and our new intern Natasja Vasta, I just lend a helping hand where I can. Brian Daley is one of if not our longest serving coaches at an incredible 30 years. He has had an athlete of his represent the State or Australia for the last 10-15 years in long distance. Needless to say he is an experienced coach and really knows his stuff. With all of that experience in long distance and in Canberra, so he knows all the great running tracks around the place. The event is split into three different courses a short, medium, and long course. The short course is between 1-1.5km the medium course is between 2-3km and the long course varies it can be between 4-6km.

As per usual Ginninderra has a good spread of age groups attending, from under 6’s all the way up to the Masters age group. There is a good spread of skill levels too, from the serious all the way to those who are just trying to get a little fitter. So if you’re interested in getting fit or testing your times come along and try it out. It is great to see one of the families come out every Wednesday to run together. Last Wednesday Uren and Satya ran the short and medium courses and their mother ran the long course which was 5km. It was great to see the family get involved. One thing they all share is running hard all the way to the line. Even the two boys who must only be about 7 have this look of determination on their face up until the point they blow past the finish line. Then the look turns into triumph and relief.

One of the things that is great to see at the cross country events is the older kids that have been running with Brian for a few years now. Seeing them lead the warm up and encourage the shy 6 year olds that are trying it for the first time. Without asking they tell Brian that they will start the warm up and they round all the athletes up and take them on the warm up run. Lead them through all the stretches and demonstrate them first for any of the kids that haven’t seen them before. If the older boys finish before the others get back (which isn’t often because they are the few that do the long course) they will also run a cool down jog for everyone. The team orientated nature of Ginninderra constantly blows me away. Athletics is primarily seen as an individual sport because all the events but the relay are performed. Ginninderra proves that athletics is much more than just an individual or a team sport, it’s a family.

Alex Gill