At the beginning of semester one, our JCUSA Sport and Recreation Manager Teisha began a one-year leave and the student association sought to cover her position. After searching far and wide, our current Sport and Recreation Officer, Jason was deemed fit for the job while Aden, our Sport and Rec Programs coordinator took over from where Jason left off in the Officer position. We also welcomed Vincent into the JCUSA Programs Coordinator role!
With a fresh team we had a record attendance in social sport and the sports programs were rolling off the production line like clockwork. John Flynn College captured the Swimming Carnival prize and just as we went to say our final goodbyes to Teisha, the COVID -19 crisis hit. After 2 weeks of social sport we had to cancel the competition. Fisher shield and interfaculty sport were also cancelled, and we were forced to close the JCUSA Fitness centre.
We were able to finish our Inter-faculty Table Tennis tournament online, again using online mobile gaming which led to some epic back and forth both on the table and in the chat. With ‘Vet’ eventually coming out victorious.
Since the cancellation of physical sport, the team put together a bunch of electronic resources to attempt to maintain the students’ connection and engagement. We started JCUSA Recreation Sessions, aka “recessions”, and after a series of attempts and many false starts, we decided that the ‘Mario Kart tour’ mobile game was the best, most accessible, inclusive, online, multiplayer game available to suit our needs. With 10 to 12 competitors most days since, this has been a fun way to give back to the student community.
We wanted to recreate the healthy competition that comes from inter faculty basketball. New Manager Jason knew exactly what to do. He put together an entire simulated competition of livestreamed interfaculty basketball games using the 2k20 on Xbox One platform. These matches were live streamed to our Facebook groups and were very hotly contested with Faculty of Arts, Education and social Sciences (FAESS) coming out victors.
We put out a call to all students, staff, clubs and societies to join us in virtually walking the “Kimberley Track” for the JCUSA MOVEIT Challenge – We now have 23 teams recording their exercise routines, steps, water intake and nutrition, pushing each other along the track! It’s great to see the involvement.
The COVID-19 crisis left a giant void for our community in the space of health and mental wellbeing. We had to think on our feet and get creative to provide a free service to help assist everyone through this situation. It was decided that we would deliver live fitness classes through our Facebook social media platforms. With assistance from our group fitness partners LesMills we were able to provide a large variety of classes, including home workouts, dance classes and children’s exercise. Our viewership spiked and we received constant praise for the effort to keep students fit and healthy.
Now we look forward to government restrictions being opened up so we can move ahead as planned for second semester sport. We would like to thank the student body, who supported our initiatives over this challenging time. Students can remain in touch with our plans at the JCUSA Fitness Facebook page (GYM), the Facebook groups (JCUSA SPORT TOWNSVILLE & JCUSA SPORT CAIRNS) and the Sport and Recreation webpage.