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Posted in: Newsletters

6 MAY 2020



Almost four weeks ago, on Good Friday I was baking a cake and preparing to celebrate my sons birthday, which was to coincide with the 139th running of the Stawell Gift. I am thankful that I had something to distract me from the Easter weekend, as I was terribly sad and felt weird being in my own home rather than my Easter home at Central Park Stawell. I acknowledge that it was a very strange and sad time for all in the pro-running community, felt hardest I imagine by none more than the Stawell Athletic Club members, residents and shop owners and wider community. I was heartened to see some great community support on social media with plenty of photos and memories shared and this reminded me why I love the pro-running community so much. 
After Easter, the VAL office is normally quiet and a time for rest and recuperation but in the last 4 weeks we have been quite busy. You can read about what has been happening in this newsletter. We are excited to kick start a community directory for everyone - with the aim to promote businesses in our community to our community. Send your details through and we'll collate it and put it online for all to see. 
In closing, I want to give a shout out to all of you who are doing it tough. Businesses have closed, people have lost jobs, parents and carers are remote-schooling. Some are working from home and trying to run a household. The world is a different place and many are finding it hard. Please look after yourself. Keep running and look out for your family, friends and those you love. We are all in this together. 
I am always happy to hear from you - so drop me a line if you have anything you want to ask or share.
Thanks, Stephanie



The VAL know that many of you are wondering what is happening with the 2020 Stawell Gift and we can share that a decision has not yet been made. The VAL have two members on an executive group alongside members from the Stawell Athletic Club, the Grampians Shire Council and the State Government and due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there has not been a formal meeting of this group since they met and decided that the 2020 Stawell Gift wouldn't happen at Easter. 
The executive group acknowledge there are a lot of unknowns in the future, and that trying to plan for something in a post COVID-19 lock-down will be extremely hard. There is a meeting of the executive group planned for some time in May and when more information is available, it will be communicated via this newsletter.

2020-2021 SEASON
The VAL is working hard to ensure that athletes will have a strong competition in the 20-21 season. We are communicating with our existing 21 clubs to ensure we can maximise the features and competition format of pro running in Victoria. The league is working through different models, considering the challenges facing pro running in Victoria, including restriction laws and sponsorship.

The Federal Government have started to release guidelines for returning to sport. The National Cabinet have considered and endorsed national principles for the resumption of sport and recreation activities. You can read more about these principles
 here. Further to this, the National Cabinet has agreed on a framework for rebooting sport in a Covid-19 environment, as developed by the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS). You can access the framework here.

The VAL are using these principles to assist in reviewing our operation and to remain financial for the coming 2020-21 season. The league has also sought the stimulus assistance through the available Government packages.

We'll keep you up to date as we work through the challenges of building the 2020-21 season.

Do you have a service or product you would like to share with the VAL community?

We are creating a VAL community directory to help the pro running collective support each other through these challenging times, and beyond. If you have a service or product you would like to make visible and available to the VAL community, let us know! In addition, we would like to further support any sponsors that have supported the clubs over the years, so feel free to contact them or supply the information to us yourself.

The details of your business or service will be made available on the VAL website, free of charge.

All you need to do is send us the following via email, direct message or phone call:

WEBSITE/SOCIAL MEDIA (if applicable):

If you only operate in a particular area, please include this in the Description.


Corruption and doping in Australian sport will be targeted by a powerful new agency designed to clamp down on integrity issues.

Sport Integrity Australia will be established after Federal parliament passed legislation on Monday night with bipartisan backing.

The agency will bring together the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA), the National Integrity of Sport Unit and integrity functions of Sport Australia.

This change will coincide with the VAL reviewing its regulations and ensuring that we meet the required standards. The very nature of pro running (handicaps and occasional betting) demands integrity at all levels including athlete performance, coaching, stewarding and governance. The VAL is looking forward to working with the new body.

Can I leave the house to do outdoor exercise on my own?

Yes, you can leave your home to exercise alone, provided it’s possible to maintain physical distancing of at least 1.5 metres from others at all times. This includes, walking, running, bike riding or other types of exercise, such as yoga in a park.

While it may be necessary to leave your immediate neighbourhood to undertake exercise, please use common sense and don’t travel any further than you have to.

Whilst some track facilities may have remained open, please do not use facilities that are closed during lock down.


Can I train I train with others?
You can exercise outdoors with any of the people who normally live at the same address as you. Always maintain physical distancing by keeping at least 1.5 metres between you and other people when you are exercising.

Alternatively, you can also do outdoor exercise with one other friend or family member who doesn’t normally live at the same address as you, provided you maintain physical distancing by keeping at least 1.5 metres between you and the other person. That person can also be a personal trainer if you wish.

For more information and to keep up to date with restrictions, please visit the
 Department of Health and Human Services

We are still working through the refunds and only have Stawell race entry fees remaining. Unfortunately, the security protocols within PayPal are making the process painstakingly slow. We apologise for the delay and will continue to get these processed as fast as possible.

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