Huge demand for Friendship fitness programme

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WITH the opening of their new gym a matter of days away, Whitby’s Friendship Rowing Club are happy with the way their winter fitness and conditioning programme has progressed.

There has been such a take-up of the twice-weekly sessions that training times have had to be staggered to cope with demand.

Coaching Pete Betts said: “We have, on occasions, had close on 40 people of all ages turning up, including many new faces which has been good to see. Space is limited at the club, which has meant we now have to split training times according to age groups.”

Rowers under 18 years of age now train at 5.30pm, with the rest at 6.30pm.

The programme, organised by former head coach at Scarborough Rugby Club, Dave Beck, has also produced some impressive results.

“In the three months since we started”, he said. “Our monthly testing has increased overall stamina levels by an average of 31%, upper body strength by 53% and abdominal strength by a massive 87%.”

Club captain John Eglon, known affectionately as ‘CM’ (Captain Marvel), is looking forward to the new gym facility opening.

“It is very nearly ready and should add another dimension to our work, enabling us to hit the ground running when races start in May,” he said.

“I have enjoyed every session and am the fittest I have been in a long while.”

With three club members due to attend a coaching course over the coming weeks, hopes are high that this season will be a successful one.

As club president Mike Brown said: “Dave has done a really great job over the winter and his rugby background has brought many new perspectives.

“What we now need to do is harness the rowing expertise available within the club into a more formal coaching structure.”

One of those selected to attend the course, veteran oarsman Richard Green, is looking forward to the challenge.

He said: “I am excited about the course as getting a formal qualification will help me to pass on my knowledge and experience to the next generation.”

Training continues on Monday and Thursday evenings at the times above.