Cape Town - The community and rugby clubs operating in and around Pacaltsdorp in George received a huge boost on Tuesday as the South African Rugby Union (SARU) launched a new Mobile Team Training System (MTTS) at the Pacaltsdorp Municipal Sport Grounds.
The mobile gym, which contains leg extension, leg curl and shoulder press equipment, as well as free weights, medicine balls and a boxing bag, among other things, will service the community and rugby clubs such as Evergreens and Young Roses RFC.
This is second mobile gym in the region, as SARU launched another mobile gym in George in 2004, which is based at the SWD Rugby Union headquarters.
“Gym is a critical element of player development, as research has proven that it is no longer possible for a player to reach and perform at national level without regular strength training,” said SARU president Oregan Hoskins.
“There is also a major disparity in terms of access to training facilities between the big urban centres, and the rural and disadvantaged communities, which places those players at a disadvantage physically. Through installations such as this, we hope to alleviate this problem.
“These facilities will also form an important part in assisting us to reach our goals set out in our Strategic Transformation Plan (STP) over the next few years by levelling the playing fields for the players.”
Hoskins said the success of the Evergreens club was one of the motivating factors for installing a gym in the community.
“Evergreens have been the SWD club champions for last three years and they played in the Cell C Community club this season, and we are proud of their achievements,” said Hoskins. “Hopefully this gym will allow them to make even bigger strides in future. Young Roses RFC will also benefit from the facility, and we will be keeping an eye on their progress as well.”
To date SARU has launched 38 MTTS throughout the country since 2003 to the value of R13m, with players such as Springboks Cornal Hendricks and former Springbok Hilton Lobberts being among the players who have played for clubs which have benefited from these gyms.
The gyms are housed in shipping containers, which are 12m x 2.5m in size and they are rugged enough to place alongside sports fields. The gym offers a conditioning circuit for 40 to 45 players when the door is opened and some of the equipment is extracted. A training manual is also supplied which includes set training routines.