New Gym Pays Off

Date: 21 August 2014

Pre-Season Gathers Pace. New Gym Facility already providing a return on investment.

With the first pre-season fixtures taking place this weekend, the senior squad have been working hard throughout the summer in preparation for the new season. A revised approach under new Head Coach Garth Dew and his coaching team has been well received and as a result training numbers have remained high throughout the summer, consistently above the 40+ level.

There have been some changes to the background support provided to the squad and these have been positively absorbed into the new regime. During the off season the club undertook an extensive refurbishment of the Players Gym with the facility undertaking a full upgrade. New equipment has replaced those items that had seen better days including the fitting of two brand new custom made squat racks. A range of different training equipment has also been added to widen the training that can be delivered whilst a full redecoration including the introduction of custom flooring completes the overhaul.

The lads try out the new gym

The lads try out the new gym

A special thank you must go to the “1869 Club” (the club’s loyal supporters club) and other generous sponsors who financed the gym refurbishment. The “1869 Club” are always welcoming to new members. If you would like to join them please get in touch with secretary Les Harrison on 01772 863774 or email Money raised from the ‘250 Club’ was also put towards funding the new gym. If you would like to join the ‘250 Club’ please follow this link where you can sign up online. Draws are made monthly with tickets costing just £5. Half of the money raised per month is used for prizes, the other half goes towards repairs, renovations and improvements around the club.

The gym upgrade is an important improvement and has allowed newly appointed Strength & Conditioning Coach David Perry to hit the ground running in his new role. David has taken on the role on a full time basis and as a result has chosen to stop playing so he can give the role his full attention. He is being ably supported by Alex Zavallis-Roebuck who is having to take time out from his own playing career. Both David and Alex are highly skilled in the S&C area and their input and methods are already benefitting the squad as whole. With new physio Mark Taylor also making a big impression, the off the field approach now has better linkage and ensures that players are being continually monitored and advised as to best practice in the areas of injury prevention, specific weight programs and general fitness.

New Gym

The new gym features 2 new squat racks with custom cushioned flooring

Director of Rugby Gareth Dyer said “The new S&C team and gym upgrade are important improvements. The old gym had become tired and a lot of the equipment was past its sell by date. We needed to up our game in this area and it was identified as a priority towards the end of last season. After a lot of hard work we now have a players gym that befits a National League club and I’d like to thank the 1869 club and our generous sponsors who have made it happen. What was also important was that we had proper support in terms of Strength & Conditioning personnel to ensure we get better returns from this area. David is a full time S&C instructor and his knowledge and approach will really benefit the players. Zav is also superb in this area and the fact that both come to their roles from a playing background means they can put rugby specific programs in place. The players have been asked to concentrate on this area more than in the past but they have bought strongly into what they are being asked to do and I’m hopeful that this will pay dividends in terms of improved injury prevention and higher levels or player fitness as we move into the season”.

Zav tries out the new gym

Zav tries out the new gym

Turning to pre-season progress Dyer continued “Pre-season has been split into two phases. Phase one had an emphasis on conditioning work but Garth and his team were keen that this involved a lot of ball and skill work also. Most players then were given a week off last week although those who had missed sessions due to holidays or unavailability were able to do some catch up fitness work with Dave and Zav and most took the opportunity to put in two hard sessions. Phase two will see the emphasis move to the required rugby preparation although obviously the players will continue to work on their fitness levels as well.

What has been clear is that the work ethic of the lads has been first class. Everyone is showing a good level of fitness and no one is being left behind. We talked about using pre-season to build a player led culture of improvement and the early signs are that the lads have taken this on board and are enjoying working with Garth and the coaches”.

The gym is not just limited to use by the 1st XV squad and will be available for other club members:  the cost will be £25 per annum in addition to their normal club membership (they must a fully paid up club member) which includes an induction and training programme prepared by Dave Perry.

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