Athletics Australia has launched the Virtual Australian Challenge, aimed at keeping Australians moving through virtual events spanning an eight-week period.
The challenge was announced after the latest Aus Play data showed running/athletics is the most popular sport for Australians ages 15 plus, with more than 3.4 million Australian participants.
The challenges, which was built with the assistance of Athletics New South Wales, will run from May 11 to July 3, and is open to a variety of ages groups, competing over four distances, 1km, 3km, 5km, and 10km.
Athletics Australia chief executive officer, Darren Gocher, said the results of Aus Play show the strong growth of athletics in Australia.
“The news from Aus Play that running/athletics continues to see strong growth with well over three million participants in Australia is fantastic,” Gocher said.
“Off the back of the Aus Play announcement, we are really excited to see how many Australians get involved in the Virtual Australian Challenge, and we encourage anyone and everyone to have a go,” he said.
Two-time Olympian, Genevieve Gregson, said the challenge is a great chance for anyone ‘stuck at home’ to get involved.
“It’s great that during this time when everyone is stuck at home that we have something that we are working toward,” Gregson said.
“Anyone can get involved in the challenge, I was lucky enough to run the Melbourne Tan track a few weeks ago in 11 minutes, 54 seconds, so anyone who thinks they can challenge me are welcome to try,” she said.
Rio Paralympian, Jardy Clifford, said this challenge is important in encouraging every community to stay happy during these challenging times.
“We all miss racing, we miss the nerves and we miss the people, we miss that feeling of crossing the finish line with nothing left in the tank, knowing we gave it everything,” Clifford said.
“And yet, with the power of modern technology, we can still live those experiences.
“If you miss those feelings as much as I do, join me in running the Virtual Australian Challenge.
“We know the power of running, the happiness it can bring.
“During these times, our community must stick together.
“I look forward to seeing your times,” he said.
To enter the Virtual Australian Challenge, participants can register for free, then complete a run, walk or wheelchair performance during the specified time and upload results.