Many SIDE students have experienced first-hand the effect of COVID-19 shutdowns and quarantine.

Year 11 student Talia Gibson was recently caught up in the Victorian lockdown while travelling to compete in tennis tournaments.

Talia is an elite tennis player who travels to tournaments around Australia and overseas. While in Perth she trains six days a week. She is ranked No.1 in Australia in both the under-16 and under-18 girls’ age groups.

In early 2020 Talia was planning on touring Europe for several months. She was intending to compete in France, Italy, Germany and the UK, including the Junior French Open and Junior Wimbledon. The COVID-19 epidemic affected these plans. With the easing of restrictions in Australia she went to Melbourne to play in Pro Tour events on 27 June. She was able to play in the first event where she won a match in straight sets against a highly ranked player.

Increased community transmission of COVID-19 in Melbourne meant the next two events were postponed as Stage 3 restrictions were reinstated. The players were still able to train on court every day but when Stage 4 lockdown occurred the tournaments were cancelled and players needed to obtain approval to travel back to WA.

This took two weeks to be approved and in that time all we could do was go outside and exercise for one hour a day. I hit lots of balls on the walls of the MCG and said hello to the ADF personnel who were patrolling the place daily.

She is currently completing two weeks of hotel quarantine in Perth. Talia’s approach has been to remain positive, maintaining her fitness and skills, and do her SIDE work.

It is not an experience I could see anyone wanting to do, but I understand and accept why it has to be done. This experience has been a good opportunity for me to get on top of my schoolwork and create a hundred indoor training ideas which can only help in the long run.

Check out Talia’s training in her hotel room.