VIRTUAL RUN: Bowen kids will be tackling a virtual cross country this year, as COVID-19 restrictions make sports carnivals impossible.
VIRTUAL RUN: Bowen kids will be tackling a virtual cross country this year, as COVID-19 restrictions make sports carnivals impossible.

Bowen kids take on virtual cross-country challenge

NORTH Queensland Sports have announced they will be conducting a Virtual Cross Country event in place of the usual school carnival, with Bowen students keen to tackle the challenge.

COVID-19 restrictions are still affecting many planned sporting events, including annual cross country carnivals which should be taking place as school resumes for Term 2.

Regional School Sports Officer for the Northern Region Brook Wilson they were hoping to reboot whatever events possible but for now they were getting creative with what they could do virtually to "get kids running".

"In a normal world after school holidays we'd have the cross countries and running carnivals starting at schools but, because of COVID, we can't run those events," he said.

"So it was a matter of, okay what can we do, what can we offer these kids to get them engaged but also connected, it's a unifying event.

Bowen State High School deputy principal Rob Harris said it was a "great initiative" to keep kids active and was happy to see many Bowen kids stepping up to the virtual starting line.

"This is the time of year we should be holding our cross countries but we can't run inter-school competitions carnivals like we usually would," he said.

"A number of our students, who have excelled at running, are interested and a few are training and getting ready to put in their best times."

Mr Harris said school sports' carnivals and events were an important leadership step for the older students and said they were also keen to schedule sports' carnivals as soon as they could.

"It's really really important for the leaders and the house captains to hold those events. Once we are allowed to run our carnivals, we will," he said.

"But for now, this is a great initiative to get kids active."

Mr Wilson said he was hoping to reboot whatever events possible later in the year from about August onwards.

"It doesn't matter where they do it, you just run the distance. We can't be sticklers for details, let's just get the kids out running," he said.

To participate children can submit their time via screenshot from any device including Garmin, Fitbit, mobile phone, which shows their time for their respective distance.

Students can submit multiple times and the best time will be used to determine the winners.

Nomination forms and flyers are available on the NQ School Sport website, and participating students are to email their results to: admin.northernsport@qed.qld.gov.au by June 2.


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