ISO TRAINING: The Lismore Swans senior men’s captain Eoghan McNutt said the club is running a Captivity Challenge via social media to care for players physical and mental wellbeing during the COVID-19 cancellation of the early season. PHOTO: Alison Paterson
ISO TRAINING: The Lismore Swans senior men’s captain Eoghan McNutt said the club is running a Captivity Challenge via social media to care for players physical and mental wellbeing during the COVID-19 cancellation of the early season. PHOTO: Alison Paterson

Swans fly into iso fitness goals during coronavirus pandemic

CRISP and misty mornings, warm and sunny afternoons with a tang of autumn in the air, there’s no doubt it’s footy season.

While players at the Lismore Swans AFL Club understand that belting a Sherrin through the sticks, handballing to your teammates or doing a specky in front of a home crowd are no longer options in the COVID-19 landscape, they have embraced individual training.

Eoghan McNutt, senior men’s team captain, said the club was enthusiastically encouraging players to keep fit, motivated and positive through a private social media page which features a different Australian rules skill challenge each week.

He said not only was it important for players to respect the isolation rules to protect the health of their families, supporters and community, clubs can fined if they don’t toe the line.

McNutt said AFL Queensland was ready to slap a $30,000 fine on clubs which don’t follow social-distancing requirements.

But his priority is the physical and mental wellbeing of Lismore Swans’ players.

“The Lismore Swans have issued a Captivity Challenge which changes every week,” McNutt said.

“It might be practising kicking with either foot or passing, and we get all the players to post a video showing their progress.”

McNutt said when players post videos to the group, team coach Joey Richardson reviewed their skills and provided feedback and encouragement.

“It’s important to keep morale up and it’s also a way to keep the team communicating,” he said.’

“If we can keep everyone talking during this challenging and difficult time, then this also helps with mental health because, everywhere you look, there’s bad news.”

McNutt said he understood how hard it could be to keep motivated and reminded players of all ages and teams at the club that they are there if a member needs to talk.

“Exercise and staying in touch is really important at the moment because it looks like we won’t be playing for a while,” he said.

“Plus we have been watching a few old videos of the club from years ago as well as AFL premiership games.”



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