Rugby Sevens stars Charlotte Caslick and Lewis Holland are self-isolating in Stanthorpe instead of being stuck in Sydney.
Rugby Sevens stars Charlotte Caslick and Lewis Holland are self-isolating in Stanthorpe instead of being stuck in Sydney.

Pandemic puts the brakes on Aussie golden couple's dreams

INSTEAD of putting the finishing touches on training preparation for the Tokyo Olympics, one of Australian sport's golden couples is holed up on a cattle farm.

Rugby Sevens superstar Charlotte Caslick won gold for Australia at the Rio Olympics in 2016 and was confident of backing that up in 2020.

But COVID-19 has hampered those plans, with the Olympics postponed until July 2021.

Caslick's partner, Lewis Holland, a men's Rugby Sevens international had the same aspirations.

Things panned out a little differently, with the couple isolating on their Granite Belt property for about a month now.

"We got put on annual leave originally, so we came up here and now we're just doing our training from here," Ms Caslick said.

It's also afforded them some time to get odd jobs done around their farm which they purchased together in late 2017.

"We're trying to get a fair bit done out at our place while we have the time.

"It's definitely better being here than if we were in our apartments in Sydney, training an hour a day and then having to stay inside.

"We're definitely happy we have a place out here we can come and isolate," she said.

While the Olympics are now more than 12 months away, training still takes precedence over farm work.

"We're trying to train the same as if we were in Sydney still.

"We call in through Zoom so our coaches can stay on the line or give us feedback.

"But obviously not much rugby skills are happening. More just running, speed and power stuff.

"We've got a little gym but we don't have very much too it and we'll go to the (Stanthorpe) Gremlins field and run there," Ms Caslick said.

Between Olympic Games, Commonwealth Games and World Cup commitments, it's been an exhaustive few years.

They're relishing some down time.

"It's a good time to freshen up I guess and focus on some other things.

"We'll just allocate an hour or two a day to training then we have the rest of the day to do whatever we want to do.

"But we're just going about things as normal and trying our best to get as much training in and keep in touch with everyone and stay connected.

"I guess it gives us longer to prepare for it (Olympics) so it's not all doom and gloom," she said.

Rugby Australia have come in for some severe scrutiny in recent months.

The code is in dire financial straits and many within the game are calling for an overhaul in leadership at the top.

That uncertainty is being felt by player's like Ms Caslick and Mr Holland.

"We're a bit in the dark at the moment as to whether our program will continue full time or what it's going to look like moving forward due to the financial situation in Rugby Australia at the moment," Ms Caslick said.

"Hopefully, once we get some clarity around that we'll have a better plan.

"We'll definitely still be sending a team (to Tokyo) and everyone is aiming to prepare as best they can.

"The circumstances might just be slightly different.

"We're sort of just waiting to see what'll happen next," she said.

Stanthorpe Border Post


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