Athletics Australia launched The Virtual Australian Challenge, an athletics program focused on getting Australians moving through virtual events spanning an eight week period.

The Challenge built with the assistance of Athletics New South Wales, runs from May 11 to July 3, is open to a variety of age groups and can be competed in over four distances.

Last week, Sport Australia released its latest Aus Play data which showed that 3.185 million adults participate in Running/Athletics, making it the most popular sport for Australians aged 15 plus. Overall, more than 3.4 million Australian adults and children participate in Running/Athletics

Athletics Australia Chief Executive Officer Darren Gocher said:

“The news from Aus Play that Running/Athletics continues to see strong growth with well over 3 million participants in Australia is fantastic.

“Off the back of the Aus Play announcement, we are really excited to see how many Australians get involved in the Virtual Australian Challenge, and we encourage anyone and everyone to have a go.

To enter the Virtual Australian Challenge, participants simply register for free, complete a run, walk or wheelchair performance during the specified time and upload your results.

Athletics Australia has also launched a community-focussed Strava Running Group, and welcome anyone to get involved.

Two-time Olympian and Australian co-Captain at the 2019 Doha World Athletics Championships – Genevieve Gregson said:

“It’s great that during this time when everyone is stuck at home that we have something that we are working toward,”

“Anyone can get involved in the Challenge, I was lucky enough to run the Melbourne Tan track a few weeks ago in 11 minutes 54 seconds, so anyone who thinks they can challenge me are welcome to try.

Rio Paralympian and two-time gold medallist at the 2019 World Para Athletics Championships – Jaryd Clifford said:

“We all miss racing. We miss the nerves and we miss the people. We miss that feeling of crossing the finish line with nothing left in the tank, knowing we gave it everything. And yet, with the power of modern technology, we can still live those experiences.

“If you miss those feelings as much as I do, join me in running the Virtual Australian Challenge. We know the power of running, the happiness it can bring. During these times, our community must stick together. I look forward to seeing your times,” Clifford said.

More details of both the Athletics Australia Virtual Challenge and the Strava Group, can be found through The Virtual Stadium or here.