Young Lions keep netball bonds strong with live lockdown training

By Meg Saultry

Seymour Lions junior netball coaches Ellie O’Sullivan and Courtney Aldous have kept their respective teams fit and firing throughout the lockdown period, using technology to connect and run fitness sessions with their players.

When the coronavirus pandemic saw the Goulburn Valley League postponed and training cancelled back in March, O’Sullivan and Aldous, who lead the under-15 and under-17 teams respectively, wanted to make sure the connections they built with their squads stayed strong over the months spent on the sidelines.

“Courtney and I spoke as soon as we knew things would get shut down,” O’Sullivan said.

“We thought, we wanted to maintain contact with the girls mostly on a social basis and keep some fitness going.”

The pair quickly set up an Instagram page, going live with workouts three times a week before switching to a more interactive platform.

“Eventually we got on to Zoom, so we were able to actually see the girls, speak to them, and they could log on and do the half an hour workout with us,” O’Sullivan said.

With plenty of free time over the past three months, O’Sullivan said the players fully embraced the training sessions.

“They were really good,” she said.

“Obviously with not much going on, it kept a bit of normality to their lives.

“We found most weeks all the girls got online, which was really nice.”

Netball training has since resumed at Kings Park as the club awaits a final call if the GVL will proceed this season.

Even so, the return of face-to-face training has everyone in high spirits.

“It’s good to get back out on court now,” O’Sullivan said.

“All the girls have been there for those sessions. They were keen to get back out on court and see each other. It’s a nice vibe.”

Even if no season was to eventuate this year, O’Sullivan said the upkeep of training over the lockdown period was extremely important in keeping junior players interested in the sport.

“That was a concern of Courtney and myself,” O’Sullivan said.

“We have a lot of girls who travel from surrounding towns - Yea, Kilmore - and we really wanted to stay in touch with those girls so that for next year, if we weren’t to get a season this year, we still had contact with them to come back and play for us.

“There are some really young, good, talented players here we want to keep for the future of Lions netball.”