Sherbrooke athletes struggle to keep in shape during quarantine

By Matthew Sylvester, Special to The Record

The track & field facilities at Sherbrooke University have started coming back to life over the past few weeks, but government regulations about gathering in public have kept the athletes of the club Athlétisme Sherbrooke away from vital resources for a long time.
“We weren’t there to adapt the training right away,” said Yoseline Leunens, one of the instructors for the club. Coaches were forced to switch to distance teaching methods for their athletes, like making videos demonstrating exercises and techniques for them to practice at home.
Being away from equipment was also a huge disadvantage for the athletes. Runners had to switch from the track to the road, leading to strain injuries like tendonitis. Throwers didn’t have access to their discus disks, pot shut balls or javelins. High jumpers and pole vaulters were completely out of luck.
Athletes with regular weight training needs suffered the most, according to Luc Lafrance, throwing coach with the club. Not being able to use the machines in the university’s weight rooms threw strength training totally out the window. This was a summer of trying to stop regression, Lafrance explained, rather than one of improvement.
Timothe Fremont is a sprinter for the club. When asked what some of the biggest challenges he faced during the lockdown were, motivation was on the top of that list. Being able to train in a group that encourages you to keep doing better is a huge part of being in an athletics club. Without that, athletes were forced to make up schedules and find their own motivation to keep pushing.
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