Will Tait practising his hurdling during the coronavirus lockdown. Photo: Nicole Tait
Will Tait practising his hurdling during the coronavirus lockdown. Photo: Nicole Tait

BACKYARD OLYMPICS: Tait family takes training online

ATHLETICS: The Tait family are synonymous for athletics in Grafton but they’ve had to think outside the box while training during the COVID-19 pandemic.

With life at a standstill, some have found it difficult to find inspiration to exercise but Nicole Tait said her family have had no trouble at all.

“We’ve been coping fine. We live on a farm with lots of space for the kids to run around in,” Tait said.

Without their regular face-to-face competition on the athletics track or soccer field, the Tates have joined in on a new online training program led by top coaches on the north coast.

“A whole bunch of coaches from Kempsey to Lismore have helped develop a virtual athletics program," she said.

“We do it online once a week competing against other houses and we all get to go in teams of five or six with our own colours and everything. It’s been great.”

Events include sprints, hurdles and other activities and Nicole said the backyard has been an adjustment from training facilities they are used to.

“Because we’re out on a farm, we don't have an athletics track. The 40m sprint definitely has a few potholes so it has some added challenges to adjust to,” she said.

“We’ve seen things like Callum sprinting away from our cat and Will hurdling our dog (pictured above). Our pup is the type of dog that would lay in your way just to get attention, he’s been loving it.”

Cal Tait doing a sprint, and the kitten started chasing him.
Cal Tait doing a sprint, and the kitten started chasing him.

For Nicole’s children Hanna, a multi-Sportsperson of the Month winner, Will and Callum, she says it has been important to keep them going.

“It’s been really good for them to keep up their training. Even for the less serious of us it’s been a great way to have fun and do things together,” she said.

Hanna has had difficulty adjusting her training schedule after the Oceania Games, which she was set to attend alongside fellow Clarence stars Annika Swift and Mitch Christiansen, were postponed indefinitely.

But Nicole said they have remained positive through a difficult situation.

“It’s been hard for them, they need to keep training but don’t know when competition will be but they remain optimistic,” she said.

Nicole said she would like to see the online program expand its reach to all regional communities throughout the country.

“It’s been great to help us through this but I think it could really benefit a lot of remote areas moving into the future,” she said.



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