By LAWRENCE MACHADO
Olympians Michelle Jenneke, Jenny Blundell and Georgia Winkcup are powering the Cherrybrook Home Athletic Movement Program (CHAMP) virtual challenge for Little Athletes and their families.
The trio started their illustrious careers at Cherrybrook LA – established in 1994 – and are sharing their experience and skills with the latest crop of Hills athletes.
While Covid-19 restrictions have forced many summer sports to delay their seasons, Cherrybrook Little Athletics is using CHAMP to keep their young members fit and active, even during the lockdown.
The Olympians join other former Cherrybrook Little Athletes in leading online warmup sessions each week, before a program of challenges that young athletes and their families can complete at their local athletic field, any park – or even at home, without the need for specialist equipment.
Cherrybrook Little Athletics president Martin Lubrano said the club’s young members were missing out during the long lockdown.
“We all just want to get back to doing what we love – our competition nights every Friday when kids get a chance to learn new skills and improve on their athletic ability by achieving personal bests,” Mr Lubrano said.
“Although we don’t know when our season can start, many of our families – and particularly the young athletes – were keen to be involved and to find ways to be active and challenge themselves.”
Young athletes can compete to achieve personal bests in events, including standing high jumps (measured against a wall or similar), standing long jumps, how many 20m sprints they can do in an allotted time, or even how many steps they can do running on the spot within a given time.
Olympic hurdler Michelle Jenneke and Tokyo Olympians Jenny Blundell and Georgia Winkcup have fond memories of competing at the Friday night competitions at Greenway Oval.
They will join Cherrybrook senior athletes and coaches, including international and national representatives Nick Andrews and Alysha Burnett in leading warm-up videos which will be shared online. The young athletes will then have a week in which to achieve their personal best on a rotating program of athletic events.
The club said Little Athletes’ siblings and parents can join in, with all age groups welcome to participate in the program which will run until the athletics season proper begins. Program events will focus on developing strength, speed, endurance, and personal bests.
Currently, Little Athletics NSW registrations are on hold and there is no date set for the possible start of the season. Last year the club boasted nearly 400 members across Little Athletics and Seniors clubs which come under one committee. Cherrybrook LA runs its competitions on Friday nights and athletes aged 12-17 can compete in both LA and senior events. www.cherrybrookathletics.org.au/