With the season throwing curveballs all over the court, our VWFL team has stuck together supporting each other from afar. We caught up with a few of our 2020 squad to hear how they have gone over the last few months and what they are looking forward to with the upcoming VWFL Lightning Cup Carnival in December.
“2020 has been tough for everyone with COVID-19 stopping just about everything in its tracks. Our VWFL ten person squad is located far and wide; from Wodonga to Melbourne all the way to Tasmania and through social media and regular video calls, we have all been able to stay in touch across the year and really support each other through some tough times.
The team will commence training from 15th November with this weekend providing the first chance for the squad to meet in person. Though our regular season wasn’t able to occur, the Victorian government, the AFL and five AFL Clubs have come together to organise a Lightening Round Carnival with the hope to return to play from 29th November, in just a few weeks.
The Lightening Round presents a very different format to what we are used to, with back-to-back-to-back games over just a few weeks, we are ready for the challenge and cannot wait to get back playing. We are focused on building our side for 2021 regular season, with new players that have never played the sport prior and players that we have drafted from other teams for the 2020 season. This opportunity will allow us to focus on development of players, building the future of our club and the game. “
2018 VWFL Premiership Captain/Coach, 2020 Co-Captain
Foundation VWFL squad member
“This season has been a challenging one to say the least. As first time Co-Captain of the VWFL team, it was difficult in keeping the players connected, however to their credit, through social media and video calls we were able to maintain our strong mateship and continue to encourage one another.
I found creative ways to train from home in my garage, then transitioning to training in the open air on the local Wodonga netball courts. I conducted weight training, using the wheelchair on the fake grass to build up upper arm strength.
We are ready to roll into 2 weeks of training before heading into the Lightening Cup Carnival, which we are keen to give a red-hot crack.”
Foundation VWFL squad member
“I have been catching up with friends over online zooms as well as connecting with the VWFL team through Whatsapp – this has helped me to stay engaged during my first year with the Pies.
To make sure I stayed fit during lockdown, I would go to the local park and practice general skills with the football.
I can’t wait to start training with the team and pull the black and white guernsey on for the first time in a few weeks.”
2020 VWFL new recruit
“Well this year has been challenging. After 31 years of a routine where I would come home and go straight to either a gym or a basketball stadium, to have that suddenly taken away, I can only define it in a few words, “I must find a way!“
I did find ways to be resilient and stay focussed, knowing that this will not be forever. With alternative physical activities such as long walks with the dogs, riding the bike and even a stricter diet regime. I never lost my vision nor the big picture.
Now with the very short season ahead of us, not only am I happy for myself, but more for the other athletes in the Wheelchair AFL program. For both their physical and mental wellbeing.
2019 & 2020 VWFL squad member
Image by Nerissa Turner Photography.