MORE than 20 rowers of all ages turned out to the Friendship Rowing Club on Monday night for the first of a planned series of winter fitness and conditioning training sessions.
For the next hour and a half, they were put through a series of tests designed to show their current levels of fitness.
These included a weights circuit, a stamina test on the beach, indoor abdominal and upper body strength tests and team fitness routines on their rowing machines.
Organisers were pleased with the turnout, especially as the club’s normal gym facilities are unavailable while work to build a new gym on site takes place.
Brains behind the initiative, Mike Clarkson, said “We could have waited until February when the gym is expected to be finished, but I felt that would be too late as we need to get in shape over the winter so as to hit the ground running when the rowing season starts.”
One of the first to arrive was veteran oarsman Richard Green, who added: “I’ve always been a great believer in having a winter training programme.
“It keeps things ticking over instead of lying around watching telly all night.”
The sessions are being planned and delivered by David Beck, who recently stepped down after eight years as head coach of Scarborough Rugby Club and who has been nominated for the Services to Sport award at Scarborough Sports Council’s annual event on Monday 26 November.
“Monday night was all about benchmarking individuals’ current strength and fitness levels,” he explained, “so that they can set themselves targets for improvement over the coming weeks.
“The conditioning programme is designed to develop sport-specific muscle groups so that, by the time they next get into a boat, they are fit for purpose as opposed to just being fit.”
Club Captain, John Eglon, was unable to take part due to a nagging injury, but was there to support and encourage his troops throughout.
“We’ve been needing something like this for years,” he said, “and we are delighted to have someone of Dave’s knowledge and experience to help take the club forward.”
Club President, Mike Brown, was similarly enthusiastic.
“I popped in to see what was going on and was very impressed at the organisation, the numbers there and the effort being put in,” he said.
“Why we haven’t done this before is a mystery.
“In fact, it has inspired me to consider taking part myself next week.”
Sessions are held at the club on Monday and Thursday evenings, starting at 6pm.
Those attending should come prepared for both indoor and outdoor activity.