An invitation to the Winston’s Wish Summer Family Party

The Winston’s Wish Northwest team will be holding a party on Weds 6 July at our Wigan Drop In to celebrate 2 years there. Download the invitation here and, once compete send it back via email to

AFYA will be there and we hope you can make it too!

Models needed for Winston’s Wish event!

Date: Friday 31st March 2017

Venue: Mercedes – Benz Showroom, Whitefield, Manchester

Winston’s Wish, in association with Jane Clynes Events, will be hosting a Fashion Show with a difference at the Mercedes-Benz Showroom in Whitefield.

How would you fancy modelling on our Catwalk of Courage? After reading that you will either be brimming with excitement or running for the hills!

We want you to bear in mind that this event is about courage and for many it will take a lot to put yourself in the spotlight. What we want you to keep in mind is that everyone will be in the same boat and will need the same amount of courage, so let’s support each other to help raise funds for Winston’s Wish.

Each model will be asked to raise sponsorship for their courage in taking part. You can also take part in memory of someone and dedicate your fundraising to that special person in your heart.

We are looking for 10 men and 10 women to come and take part. We also need 20 children to be our Mini Models – so let’s get everyone involved and bring this to life!

You will be showcasing local boutique fashions with two sections to the event; one for daywear and other for evening wear.

Each adult model will be asked to look for a sponsor, which we ask for £250 each. Each sponsor will get their logo on the promotional literature and in the programme too. I will also be here to support you in finding a sponsor.

If you would like to know more or are feeling in the moment and want to sign up, please get in touch with me on 07867428914 or email

AFYA to bring sports stars to Liverpool College in new sports holiday camps

Leading sports training company AFYA will be bringing a host of sporting stars to a number of camps being held at Liverpool College this summer.

The courses, which are now open for bookings, will include England and international coaches and players from the British Lions, GB Judo, England Netball and Cricket as well as coaches from South Africa and Australia.

Multi-sport courses will also be available with tennis, fencing, athletics, street dance and speed training on offer. They run from July 11-August 26 and are suitable for children aged 5-13.

Rugby specific camps will run on August 22-24 for children aged 8-11 and 12-16 with former England international Rugby Union player Mark Cueto, the Premiership’s all-time top try scorer.

A netball camp will also take place on August 25-26 for children aged 9-13 with England Netball and Manchester Thunder’s Alice Travis.

Wirral headquartered AFYA Sports Training is made up of experienced coaches, trainers and teachers who have a background in a variety of sports.

The AFYA team includes James Wade who has headed up academies and player development at Sale Sharks and Wasps as well as being Head Coach at Oxford University RUFC.

The camps at Liverpool College, a leading North West Academy School, are being run in partnership with AFYA and Nuffield Health.

Ben Wood, MD of AFYA said: “We are delighted to be running our sporting summer camps for local children at Liverpool College for the first time.

“Our camps have been specifically designed to incorporate insights that have generated some of the best teams and athletes across the world. We have some inspirational players and coaches working with us.”

Take a look at all of our upcoming training camps here. To book, email or call 0151 326 2253.

Liverpool College partner with AFYA

FullSizeRenderLiverpool College a leading North West Academy School and Nuffield Health are delighted to announce that in partnership with AFYA Sports Training they will be running sports camps over the Summer starting 11th July 2016 at the school.

AFYA Sports Training is a leading provider of sports coaching and education and the courses will include England and international coaches and players from The British Lions, GB Judo, England Netball and Cricket as well as coaches from South Africa and Australia

The camps are both Multi Sport for children aged 5-13 and include all of the above as well as Tennis, Fencing, Athletics, Street Dance and Speed Training to name but a few.The Multi Sports Camp will run from 11th July- 26th August.

AFYA will also run Sports Specific camps for Rugby and Netball on 22nd-24th August for 8-11 and 12-16 year olds with Mark Cueto (England & British Lions) and 25th-26th August with Alice Travis (England Netball & Manchester Thunder) for 9-13 year olds.

To see more details and or book visit or email

AFYA to deliver Strength and Conditioning Training

The Problem

Due to modern lifestyles the children of today have become less mobile, more unfit and weaker than children of previous generations. Recent findings published in the child health journal Acta Paediatrica showed that arm strength in children fell by 26% between 1998 and 2008; leading to fresh concerns about the impact of modern living on the health and wellbeing of today’s children whether they engage in sport or not.

Increases in litigation, as well as constant reduction of physical education in the national curriculum has steadily reduced the amount of physical activity in young people.

“Falling off a branch used to be a good lesson in picking yourself up and learning to climb better. Now fear of litigation stops the child climbing in the first place.”
Tam Fry of the Child Growth Foundation

Additionally, the mystique of fitness training, coupled with the sometimes poor practice of some coaches has led to a misunderstanding of what contemporary strength and conditioning aims to achieve.

In contrast, strength and power is vital for success in most contact sports and although strength itself is not a measure of sporting ability it is believed to represent performance characteristics of playing potential (2). Moreover, it has been suggested that possessing high levels of strength is the most important factor influencing power production (7,9,15,20), which encompasses movements such as sprinting, jumping, changing direction, throwing and kicking and therefore applies to the vast majority of sports (8).

There is an increasing demand of strength and power in rugby players of all levels since the advent of professionalism in 1997 (16). A recent study illustrated increases of 3-5% in upper-body and 5-15% increases in lower-body strength between 2004 and 2007 (19). Furthermore, strength and power have been shown to be discriminating factors between playing levels (2–4) and have been shown to differentiate between playing standard of professional, college, high school and junior players (4).

In conclusion, we are living in an age where the youth of today are becoming weaker, slower and less fit than our predecessors, and yet many young athletes are entering an arena that requires an increasing need for the very same physical characteristics. Attempting to square this circle is fraught with danger as players try to build on shaky foundations as they endeavour to chase their dream of becoming a professional athlete. Sooner or later this will end in injury.

Further Information

There were once doubts that strength training held any benefits for children and it has traditionally been viewed as risky for maturing children due to fears it could stunt growth and lead to injury. Fortunately, there is a growing body of evidence that children and teenagers can benefit from appropriately designed and professionally coached training programmes.

In fact, injuries associated with weightlifting and weight training are lower than any contact or team based sport in this country and the benefits of strength training during youth and adolescence have far-reaching health benefits, including:

Other health benefits of physical activity also include:

Strength training in particular has been shown to have enormous benefits for athletes as it serves as the foundation for all other physical attributes. Qualities such as speed, agility, balance, mobility, anaerobic capacity and even cardio vascular endurance are underpinned by strength and therefore it is a key component of any AFYA training programme.

The most recent meta-analysis, published in the journal Pediatrics, found that children who engaged in strength training one to five times a week, for about 40 minutes per session, improved their strength by 20 to 40 percent. In addition, those who trained a few times a week also saw more improvement than those who limited their strength training to once a week. These findings line up with the most recent, updated exercise recommendations from the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) and United Kingdom Strength and Conditioning Association (UKSCA), which now recommends children incorporate strength training two to three times a week. It has been clearly shown that exercising during your youth has a long-term beneficial impact on your health.

Unfortunately, many still make the mistake of equating weight training out-dated bodybuilding or military training styles. Please understand that contemporary strength & conditioning is not about “looking good” or simply “getting a beasting”, but is designed to develop well-rounded athletes by focussing on fundamental movement skills and progressive strength development by using safe techniques utilising evidence based training methods.

The Solution

The AFYA training plan employs a five-step approach;


This testing session is the most important session in the AFYA training plan as all subsequent training sessions are based on the results from the initial testing session. It briefly comprises of:

  1. Anthropometric assessment This includes height, weight, body fat and muscle girths. Regular testing can also inform coaching on maturations status which may guide future coaching sessions and exercise selection.
  2. Functional Movement Screen This is the foundation from which all training programmes evolve from. Put simply it assesses the movement capacity of the player and provides the coach with vital information about how the player moves and, perhaps more importantly, where movement dysfunctions lie. This in turn guides future coaching.
  3. Strength Basic upper and lower body strength testing. All scores are expressed in absolute and relative measures which is important in maturing athletes.
  4. Speed Acceleration, speed and momentum are measured over specific distances. Speed timing gates will need to be provided.
  5. Aerobic/Anaerobic capacity General aerobic (from which future training plans can be designed) and/or sport & position specific anaerobic fitness tests

Distance Programming

Once the testing has taken place and the results have been analysed players will receive a training programme based on their general need and ability. There will be 3 sessions per week over a 12-week period.

Coach Led Sessions

Further sessions will be provided and led by a qualified, experienced strength & conditioning coach. There will be 3 sessions per week over a 12-week period. Players will be split into 2 groups to increase the player to coach ratio.

Educational Lessons

In order to enhance the training programme so the players get maximum benefit there will also be 3 educational lessons consisting of general nutritional practices, nutrition for performance and how to recover from training/playing. However, if there are specific topics that you would like to cover this can also be arranged.


The post-test emulates the pre-test and checks the effectiveness of the training programme as the results can be compared.


Leading sports training company AFYA is working with Anselmians Rugby Club to create a Centre of Excellence.

The Centre will provide elite level coaching and player development and bring new players to the sport. It coincides with the club’s plans to build a new club house facility on its site in Eastham.

The Excellence programme is for players aged 13-18 and will give them coaching and advice on fitness, skill development, positional and team tactics as well as nutrition.

As part of the centre, there will also be an extensive coach development and parents advice programme.

Wirral headquartered AFYA, launched two years ago, is made up of experienced coaches, trainers and teachers who have a background in a variety of sports including Rugby Union, Netball, Tennis, Judo and Athletics.

The AFYA team includes James Wade who has headed up academies and player development at Sale Sharks and Wasps as well as being Head Coach at Oxford University RUFC.

Anselmians RUFC Chairman Jason Abbott said: “We are looking forward to an exciting future with the launch of the Centre of Excellence coupled with our plans to build a new club house facility.

“AFYA has a strong reputation for sports coaching excellence which is why we chose them as our working partners. They share our passion for developing youth and their mixture of performance coaches will allow us to keep the training and development programmes fresh and exciting.

“This is a unique initiative by Anselmians and unparalleled in the area. We are making a huge commitment to create a sporting environment in which our young players can achieve the highest standards to which they aspire in rugby and in life.

“At a time when the numbers of adult players are declining nationally, we are securing the sustainable future growth of our club by investing heavily in our youth development.
All local youngsters within the Academy’s age parameters are welcome to join us on this exciting journey.”

AFYA’s remit will include new player recruitment and anyone interested in finding out more about the Centre of Excellence is invited to an open evening at the club on Thursday, March 10th at 7pm. AFYA will be at the launch along with former England international Rugby Union player Mark Cueto, the Premiership’s all-time top try scorer.

Ben Wood, MD of AFYA said: “We are delighted to be launching a Centre of Excellence at Anselmians and to be working with them to create the Wirral’s leading rugby club.

“Our courses have been specially designed to incorporate insights that have generated some of the best teams and athletes across the world. We have some inspirational players and coaches working with us.”

Anselmians RUFC was formed in 1947 and the club relocated to its present home in Eastham village in the mid-1950s. The club is proud to have been providing sporting opportunities for all youth in the local community and beyond.

AFYA Partnership with Anselmians Centre of Excellence

The Saints are proud to announce that we are launching a Centre of Excellence with AFYA Sports Training within the club and on The Wirral, with the aim of providing elite level coaching and player development.

This will run in parallel with taking Rugby into the local community and bringing in new players to the sport and taking them through the development programme.

The Excellence programme is for players aged 13-18 and will give them coaching and advice on fitness, skill development, positional and team tactics as well as nutrition.

As part of the Centre an extensive coach development and parents advice programme will be included.

A launch presentation will be at the club on 10th March starting at 7pm which will be hosted by AFYA and Mark Cueto.


AFYA Summer Training Camps – Video slideshow!

Thanks Gemma Williams, friend of AFYA, for putting together this fantastic image slideshow which shows some great action from the recent AFYA Summer Training Camps:

Some of the best bits of AFYA summer camp!

Posted by Gemma Williamson on Wednesday, 16 September 2015

All systems go with AFYA Nuffield Bank of America Sports Camps at Chester

Over the Easter holidays Nuffield ran a 9 day sports camp with AFYA Sports Training for the Bank of America employees at The Life Centre Chester Business Park.

In excess of 140 children attended the course and they had the opportunity to participate in multiple games and activities. AFYA’s coaching team consisted of high level coaches who have played or coached at professional and international level in a range of sports including Rugby and Netball ( Sale Sharks, Wasps, Scotland, Manchester Thunder and England Netball)

The children were able to benefit from this experience in a fun and demanding environment. Other activities included cricket, tennis and Zorbing as well as Bushcraft and map reading which was run by one of AFYA’s ex Army Officers.

Richard Graham, Programme Director commented that ” it was fantastic to see the children both enjoying and learning from their experiences here at the Life Centre. The parents really valued the opportunity to both see their children whilst at work and see the benefits of what they were learning on the camp”

” We will be running camps in the half term and over the duration of the Summer holidays with AFYA and we are looking forward to hosting The Oxford University Varsity Rugby Team here in September. AFYA has a very close relationship with the team and its preferred charity Winstons Wish and we are delighted they will be running a training session for our members to watch and participate in!”

IMG_0542 IMG_0475 IMG_0386 FullSizeRender

Old Anselmians RUFC working with AFYA

Old Anselmians RUFC is working with AFYA on a Team Development Programme for the Junior Section. The aim of the programme is to assist the coaches in putting in place a coaching philosophy and a way in which the game is coached across the age groups that reflects and embraces the way they want to play rugby.
The players will be able to transition from age group to age group seamlessly knowing that the coaching patterns and the way the game is played and coached will be seamless. The benefits for the players, coaches and ultimately for the club will be enormous.