Young Illawarra athletes are determined to pursue their dreams despite sporting events being cancelled due to COVID-19 restrictions. 

The Illawarra Academy of Sport (IAS), an organisation that provides localised training and education for athletes and coaches, is embraced social media to keep the local sports community motivated through the pandemic.

IAS communications officer Emily Robinson said online platforms have played a vital part in maintaining normality for the athletes. 

“During this time we obviously can’t have any face-to-face sessions with the athletes so we have moved to online delivery,” she said. 

“We have been running online education webinars through Zoom, weekly squad meetings and live video training sessions to keep their fitness up and continue working on their goals.” 

IAS has launched #nostoppingIAS fitness challenges and it has encouraged athletes to share their training and conditioning videos on Instagram.

Ms Robinson said Instagram was a great tool to encourage local sport stars to share their stories and inspire others.  

“Each week we have a local athlete take over our Instagram stories to keep everyone motivated at home and show the different ways they are staying happy and active while in isolation,” she said.

IAS LoneStar swimming and surf life saving captain Chelsea Jones shared her rigorous training routine on the IAS Instagram this week. 

Although training is very different for Ms Jones, she has met her expectations. 

“I now have Zoom meetings with my swim club, live coaching sessions and training videos to complete,” she said.

“I am motivated to keep training as I have already set my goals for next season and know that eventually I’ll be back training as normal and competing again”.

The IAS hopes Level A restrictions will be eased in Friday’s National Cabinet meeting. 

Ms Robinson said eased restriction would allow outdoor training sessions for up to 10 people and would provide a chance for local sportspeople to reunite.

She said IAS was proud of how its athletes have maintained focus during difficult times. 

“It’s been really promising to see that our athletes have been so engaged throughout this whole period,” she said. 

“Our athletes will certainly be ready to go when we are given the green light.”

For the latest sport updates and more #nostoppingIAS, head over to the Instagram page: @illawarra_academy_of_sport