READY, SET: Mahalia, Anabella and Kiana Van Der Loos get ready to add to the Wheatley House kilometres tally in Rockhampton Grammar's virtual cross country. Picture: Contributed
READY, SET: Mahalia, Anabella and Kiana Van Der Loos get ready to add to the Wheatley House kilometres tally in Rockhampton Grammar's virtual cross country. Picture: Contributed

RGS community embraces virtual sports events

VIRTUAL competitions could become a regular part of Rockhampton Grammar’s sporting calendar following the success of two online events run by the school.

Students, parents and staff took part in the virtual cross country and the push-up challenge that were introduced when the school went to remote learning in response to COVID-19.

Director of co-curricular Todd Wells was thrilled with the response from the school community.

Participants clocked up a total of 2681km in the cross country and powered out 18,862 push-ups over the four weeks.

“Our main priority when we went to remote learning was to find ways to keep the students active and healthy,” he said.

“We wanted to keep our students engaged and keep the RGS community spirit going during that time when we weren’t seeing each other, day in and day out.

“We didn’t want the cross country to be just an elite competition and that’s why we had categories for the most participants for each sporting house and the most kilometres.

“The push-up challenge was about giving them a challenge each week and seeing them improve their general fitness.”

Wells said the idea for the virtual competitions came from a Rowing Australia initiative – the 2020 Indoor Interstate Regatta, in which competitors logged kilometres done on their ergos at home.

Rockhampton Grammar's Riley Denham did 201.1km in the school's virtual cross country. Picture: Contributed
Rockhampton Grammar's Riley Denham did 201.1km in the school's virtual cross country. Picture: Contributed

The RGS events were not only about competition but participation.

Kellow House scored dual honours in the cross country, crowned the overall distance house champion with 956km and the overall participation house champion with 216.

Whealtey House’s Riley Denham ran the most kilometres of any student, covering a total of 201.1km.

Wells said that was a great achievement.

“To do just over 200km in four weeks is quite amazing,” he said.

“Not recorded in those results is that at the start of the remote learning, Riley also ran his first marathon in under four hours.

“He just went out for a run, felt good and kept running and did the whole 42km.

“One he started the virtual cross country, he was doing 50km a week easy.

“He’s involved in a lot of sports that involve heavy training loads and he finds that to be a good challenge.”

Kellow also took the spoils in the push-up challenge, with the greatest participation and the highest total of 6734.

Wells said the school would look at offering similar events to foster that whole of community engagement.

“The concept of virtual sport and virtual competitions is something that we’re interested in investigating and seeing what we can do in that space,” he said.



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