Virtual sport was pandemic practical
Coronavirus forced the Alice Springs School of the Air to rethink its annual Sports Week, a fixture that normally draws isolated students to the regional city.
Social distancing rules inspired the school to devise the first virtual ASSOA Games. The revamped competition model allowed students to participate from the safety of their homes.
The week-long fixture, ending with Sports Day, involved preschool to Year 9 contenders from the Territory, three bordering states and PNG.
Principal Kerrie Russell said the students were divided into sporting house teams to complete a range of online activities.
“The events included origami, body percussion, chalk art, dance, ball skills, and using a marble run to roll a marble for up to a minute,” she said.
“Our virtual disco attracted prizes for best dressed, best dancer, and best decorated home classroom.”
Ms Russell said the Virtual Sports Day on Friday 22 May was a clash between House teams distinguished by red, blue and yellow.
“There was a series of novelty acts, including boot tossing, the standing long jump and high jump, and the point earning obstacle course, scored by completion time,” she said.
“In the timed running races the challengers were given a distance to run, and were credited with points after coming online to record the duration of their run.
“A 10-minute ‘cross country’ run outside their classrooms was also a feature, and in a 20-metre toilet paper tube relay — a family event — the baton was ‘passed’ to the next family by holding it up to the camera.
“The highly successful virtual ASSOA Games demonstrated the adaptability of our students, and their families.”