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Bookings open for rugby camp coming to Caldy Rugby Club in New Year

Top rugby coaches will be coming to the Wirral in the New Year to run a coaching camp for young players.

AFYA Sports Training will be running the rugby camp at Caldy Rugby Club to develop skills.

The Coaching Camp will take place on January 20th 10am – 2:30pm and is open to players aged 9-15. It costs £17 for the day, which includes a club lunch and option to watch the 1st Team as well in their National 1 home match.

AFYA partners with leading tackling equipment provider Shadowman and will be using their training tools in the camp. Team building, leadership development and tackle techniques will also be key elements of the course.

Ben Wood, Managing Director of AFYA, known for its sports coaching excellence, said: “We’re looking forward to bringing Shadowman to Caldy Rugby Club. Shadowman’s innovative training products allow players to really work on their speed and agility as well as their one-on-one tackling and tracking.

“This is also great opportunity for young rugby players to be trained by our team of professional coaches and players who have played and coached at National or International level.

“We will be covering a wide range of techniques including Individual Tackle Technique and Tackle Development, Defensive Structure and Strength & Conditioning. We will also be looking at team building and leadership development skills training that can be used on and off the pitch.”

AFYA is led by Ben Wood, a former Army officer and qualified RFU coach, and James Wade, a top coach who was Head of Player Development at Wasps, Head of Sale Sharks Academy and is currently Head Coach at Oxford University RUFC (The Blues).

For more information or to book a place please call 0151 326 2253 or email bookings@afyasportstrg.com.

Scott Pearson

AFYA’s Scott Pearson and his nutrition tips

AFYA’s Scott Pearson is passionate about the importance of good nutrition for children and young athletes. 

As a Strength & Conditioning Coach for British Cycling, he knows how important getting the right diet is for both the able bodied and Paralympian athletes from novices up to Olympic standard who he works with.

Here, Scott gives AFYA readers some of his nutritional tips and advice:

 

Why a healthy diet is important

Eating a healthy, balanced diet is essential for everyone, whether you are aiming to be a professional athlete or simply want to enjoy a life free of illness. No matter how fit you think you are now, and how much work you think you can do, it is critical that you think about what you are putting in your body.

A good diet gives you the energy you need to think, train and play and helps you recover properly from all that work. No matter what you do, you can’t out train a poor diet.

The following tips are the starting point to beginning a healthier lifestyle, so work through them one by one, taking time to let the effects of each stage take hold before moving on to the next.

It is a stage by stage process; if you don’t have a great diet and you try and change everything all at once, it is less likely to succeed. To make healthy eating a good habit, it needs to be a gradual lifestyle change rather than a revolution.

If you are still lucky enough to get most of your meals cooked for you, talk with the rest of your family about how you can do this together. It is far more likely to work if everyone is going through the same things together.

Ready? Here we go….

Cut out the obvious junk

It doesn’t take a dietitian to realise that eating McDonalds and drinking Coke all the time isn’t good for anyone, let alone an aspiring athlete, so simply removing them from your diet can go a long way to improving your overall health. In general, try to cut out anything with excess levels of:

Sugar

Excess sugar in our diet can play havoc with your body’s metabolism, leading to peaks and troughs of energy throughout the day. This roller coaster pattern has been implicated in the increase in Type II diabetes as the continual wear and tear on your pancreas eventually causes it to stop working effectively.

In addition, your body can only store limited amounts of sugar in the blood and liver (in the form of glycogen), so any excess is converted to body fat.

Foods such as soft drinks, sweets, chocolates, cakes and biscuits are all high in added sugar.

Saturated fat

Contrary to the popular belief, not all fat is bad for you. In fact, many vitamins are only soluble in fat and some fat in your diet is necessary for many bodily functions. However, fat comes in different forms, the main two being saturated and unsaturated.

In general, saturated fat is seen as an unhealthy fat and can be easily identified because it tends to be solid at room temperature. Therefore, many prepared foods, such as pizza, dairy desserts, burgers and sausage are high in saturated fat.

A diet high in saturated fat increases the amount of cholesterol in your blood, which can increase your risk of developing coronary heart disease. Remember that you do not need to be overweight to have high cholesterol.

Cut out the not-so obvious junk

Once you have managed to get by on a diet without the obvious junk in it, and realised you can still survive, it’s time to take it to the next stage by cutting out many of the foods with hidden problems. These are less obvious to spot, but can be pretty easy to find once you understand what you’re looking for…

Sugar Free

By offering all the taste without the calories, artificial sweeteners seem like a no-brainer when it comes to effective weight loss and healthy living. Unfortunately though, the much touted “health benefits” of these products are not all they’ve cracked up to be.

Bad for your health

There have been many health risks associated to artificial sweeteners, not least various forms of cancer. “Diet” drinks have also been linked to metabolic syndrome and Type II diabetes.

Artificial sweeteners mess with the body’s system for taking in calories. Normally, taste receptors on the tongue detect sweetness and tell the brain that calories are on their way. The brain then sends signals to the pancreas to prepare release of insulin, but if no calories arrive, the body’s natural mechanism gets confused. In turn, this leads to poor health, illness and disease.

Don’t make poor Choices

Continual over-stimulation of taste receptors from artificial sweeteners literally change the way we taste food. Meaning that people who routinely use artificial sweeteners may start to find less sweet foods (such as fruit) less appealing and unsweet foods (such as vegetables) downright disgusting.

In other words, use of artificial sweeteners can make you shun healthy, filling, and highly nutritious foods while consuming more artificially flavoured foods with less nutritional value.

Fat Free

There’s been a boom in low-fat alternatives since the 1980’s, when the message got out that foods high in fat were bad for your health (see above). While it’s true that fat supplies more than twice the energy per gram than either carbohydrates or protein, and (saturated fat) is responsible for increasing cholesterol levels and clogging our arteries, the processes used to create low (or no) fat foods may be even worse.

Man-made fat

The fat in many foods provide much of the flavour and consistency (think of a thick, creamy yoghurt), so removing the fat also removes the taste and texture. To make up for this, food manufacturers use processes (called hydrogenation) to alter the structure of liquid vegetable oil to create a semi-solid fat suitable for their processing needs.

Ingestion of hydrogenated fats dramatically increase the levels of trans-fats in our bodies. Trans-fats have been linked with heart disease and increased levels of cholesterol, so it seems that low-fat alternatives are a major contributor to the very problems they are said to be helping against!

Added calories

Because removing the natural fat from products also removed much of the flavour, manufacturers found that it was necessary to add huge amounts of sugar simply to make them taste better.

As well as contributing to the taste and texture of a product, fat can also contribute to how full you feel after eating something. So, with removed fat and added refined carbohydrates you typically feel less full for a shorter amount of time. In turn this leads to blood sugar swings and foods cravings making the job of eating sensibly even harder than it already is. The food now provides the same health risks as overtly sugary foods mentioned above.

Watch your salt intake

Salt, or more correctly, the compounds that make up salt are required in the diet for your body to function properly. For example, chloride aids in digestion, while sodium regulates blood flow and helps transmit neural messages between your brain and muscle fibres. Also, there’s no denying it; salt also makes your food taste better!

Because of this, restaurants and food manufacturers add salt to their products to make them taste better. Unfortunately though, too much salt is very bad for you.

Dangers of salt

You probably already know that you feel thirsty after eating something very salty (such as a packet of crisps). This is because your kidneys need to maintain a balance between electrolytes (such as magnesium and potassium) and water so they can do their job of filtering the waste products from your blood.

More salt (therefore more electrolytes) means you need to drink more water to balance the system. More fluid in your body can lead to high blood pressure or other problems such as edema (swelling in places like the hands, arms, feet, ankles, and legs). Your body needs to maintain the balance, so if you decide not to drink extra fluid, your body will draw water from other cells, leading to dehydration.

In addition, regularly eating too much salt makes you urinate more often (because of the excess water). Every time this happens, your body loses calcium, the mineral that strengthens bones and teeth; urinate too often and you increase the risk of making your bones much more breakable.

 

Coming up soon: How to replace the junk with good stuff.

 

 

 

 

AFYA and first Oxford University RFC Ivy League tour of USA

The Oxford Blues will kick off their first RFC Ivy League tour of America with matches against some of the most prestigious Ivy League universities.

The 15 day tour will include The Blues training with Harvard Rugby Football Club, Yale University Rugby Football Club, Princeton University Rugby Football Club and West Point, a leader in USA Collegiate Rugby.

There will also be a series of rugby matches against the prestigious Collegiate All-Americans, Mystic River Rugby Club in Boston and Old Blue RFC, one of the oldest rugby clubs in America.

Highlights of the Collegiate All Americans game at the Talen Energy Stadium in Philadelphia are due to be shown on ABC, NBC and Sky Sports.

AFYA Sports Training is sponsoring The Oxford Blues on their tour and its name will appear on all the kit during the team’s tour to the East Coast of America.

The tour is centred on the fixture with the Collegiate All-Americans, which will be held in conjunction with AEG as the curtain raiser for the Newcastle versus Saracens Premiership Rugby clash at Philadelphia’s Talen Energy Stadium the same day.

Whilst they are on the tour AFYA will run coaching and tackle camps with The Blues with aspiring young American rugby players as well as running community outreach programmes in New York via rugby.

AFYA is led by Ben Wood, a former Army officer and qualified RFU coach, and James Wade, a top coach who was Head of Player Development at Wasps, Head of Sale Sharks Academy and is currently Head Coach at Oxford University RUFC (The Blues).

AFYA is proud to be supporting the first Oxford University RFC Ivy League tour of the USA

Ben Wood, Managing Director of AFYA, which has a strong reputation for sports coaching excellence in the UK, said: “We’re delighted to help sponsor The Blues during this exciting tour and it’s fantastic to see the AFYA name on the match top.”

Oxford University Rugby Football Club is one of the world’s leading and most well-known amateur rugby clubs. Founded in 1869, more than 300 Oxford players have gained representative international honours since then including Phil de Glanville, Tyrone Howe, Simon Halliday and Rob Egerton.

Current Oxford Blues Captain Conor Kearns said: “We’re delighted that AFYA is on board as a key sponsor for our first tour of the East Coast of America.

“The club has a great tradition of tours reaching around the globe and it’s an exciting prospect to once again bring a Blues squad to the East Coast.”

“Replicating tours of old, we will be making use of both academic and sporting ties between Oxford and some of the most prestigious universities in the world. It will be a great opportunity to grow as a squad but also represent student sport on a global stage.”

DOWNLOAD THE ITINERARY HERE

Conor Kearns

AFYA backs first Oxford University RFC Ivy League tour of the USA

AFYA Sports Training is sponsoring The Oxford Blues on their first Ivy League rugby tour to the USA.

AFYA’s name will appear on all the kit during the team’s 15 day tour to the East Coast of America.

The tour will include The Blues training with some of the most prestigious Ivy League universities in America – Harvard Rugby Football ClubYale University Rugby Football Club, Princeton University Rugby Football Club and West Point, a leader in USA Collegiate Rugby.

There will also be a series of rugby matches against the prestigious Collegiate All-Americans, Mystic River Rugby Club in Boston and Old Blue RFC, one of the oldest rugby clubs in America.

The tour is centred on the fixture with the Collegiate All-Americans, which will be held in conjunction with AEG as the curtain raiser for the Newcastle versus Saracens Premiership Rugby clash at Philadelphia’s Talen Energy Stadium the same day.

Whilst they are on the tour AFYA will run coaching and tackle camps with The Blues with aspiring young American rugby players as well as running community outreach programmes in New York via rugby.

AFYA is led by Ben Wood, a former Army officer and qualified RFU coach, and James Wade, a top coach who was Head of Player Development at Wasps, Head of Sale Sharks Academy and is currently Head Coach at Oxford University RUFC (The Blues).

Ben Wood, Managing Director of AFYA, which has a strong reputation for sports coaching excellence in the UK, said: “AFYA is delighted to announce that we will be helping to sponsor The Blues during this exciting tour.”

Oxford University Rugby Football Club is one of the world’s leading and most well-known amateur rugby clubs. Founded in 1869, more than 300 Oxford players have gained representative international honours since then including Phil de Glanville, Tyrone Howe, Simon Halliday and Rob Egerton.

Current Oxford Blues Captain Conor Kearns said: “We’re delighted that AFYA is on board as a key sponsor for our first tour of the East Coast of America.

“The club has a great tradition of tours reaching around the globe and it’s an exciting prospect to once again bring a Blues squad to the East Coast.”

“Replicating tours of old, we will be making use of both academic and sporting ties between Oxford and some of the most prestigious universities in the world. It will be a great opportunity to grow as a squad but also represent student sport on a global stage.”

The Oxford Blues is looking for more individual/corporate sponsors for the tour. Anyone interested should contact Conor by email: kearnsco@tcd.ie

https://afyasportstrg.com/

http://www.ourfc.org/

 

NOTES TO EDITORS

For more information, contact Lucy Mason at Mason Media on 0151 239 5050/07903 197402 or email:  lucy@masonmedia.co.uk

 

AFYA opens its new kit shop

We are delighted to announce the launch of our new kit shop.

Packed with everything you need to wear to look the part – and to play at your best – we now stock a wide range of branded sports kit.

All our kit is manufactured to a proven standard and is suitable for a wide variety of sports.

Available to buy are t-shirts, polo tops, tops, jackets and hooded sweatshirts. We also have sports shorts, skorts and fitted pants. Our kit starts from only £14.75 and comes in a selection of sizes from Kids to 3XL.

For more information or to buy AFYA kit please order online here.

 

Lymm Rugby Club

AFYA partners with Lymm Rugby Club

AFYA Sports Training has announced a partnership with Lymm Rugby Club.

Known for its sports coaching excellence, the AFYA team will be responsible for leading on a development program for both the players and coaches at Lymm RFC.

Technical development will include strength and conditioning, speed training, tactical and place kicking plus scrummaging and lineout. There will also be a focus on positional awareness and development, contact development, team tactics and diet and nutrition.

Guy Larkin, Coaching Co-ordinator at Lymm Rugby Club, said: “We are delighted to announce our partnership with AFYA, a company with a strong reputation for sports coaching excellence.

“AFYA share our passion for developing our players and coaches so we can raise aspirations, skill, performance and attitude at all levels.

“To match our ambitious plans off the field with our clubhouse project, we are also keen to make further investment to support our many volunteer coaches by helping them provide safe sporting experiences for our fantastic young players through regular work with AFYA.

“We have a very proud tradition of producing many great quality mini and junior sides at Lymm RFC and we wish to continue this success long into the future.”

James Wade, AFYA’s Chief Operating Officer and a top coach who was Head of Player Development at Wasps, Head of Sale Sharks Academy and is currently Head Coach at Oxford University RUFC, said: “This is an exciting partnership for AFYA. Whatever the level of a player’s ability, we offer all players the opportunity to achieve their highest level of performance.”

For more information visit www.afyasportstrg.com

http://www.trylymm.com/

 

NOTES TO EDITORS: For more information, contact Lucy Mason at Mason Media on 0151 239 5050/07903 197402 or email:  lucy@masonmedia.co.uk

AFYA

AFYA Rugby Camp coming to Wilmslow Rugby Club

AFYA Sports Training will be running a Rugby Camp at Wilmslow Rugby Club this summer.

The Coaching Camp will take place on July 27 and 28 and is open to players aged between 8 and 15. It costs £30 per day or £50 for both days.

AFYA, which recently announced a partnership with the leading tackling equipment provider Shadowman, will use their training tools in the camps.

Team building, leadership development and skills training will be key elements of the course.

Ben Wood, Managing Director of AFYA, known for its sports coaching excellence, said: “We’re looking forward to bringing Shadowman to Wilmslow Rugby Club. Shadowman’s innovative training products allow players to really work on their speed and agility as well as their one-on-one tackling and tracking.

“This is also great opportunity for young rugby players to be trained by our team of professional coaches and players who have played and coached at National or International level.

“We will be covering a wide range of techniques including understanding your position, fundamental skill development and assessment and defence and attacking principles. We will also be looking at positional skills and fitness testing.”

AFYA is led by Ben Wood, a former Army officer and qualified RFU coach, and James Wade, a top coach who was Head of Player Development at Wasps, Head of Sale Sharks Academy and is currently Head Coach at Oxford University RUFC (The Blues).

For more information or to book a place on the course visit https://afyasportstrg.com/

NOTES TO EDITORS

For more information, contact Lucy Mason at Mason Media on 0151 239 5050/07903 197402 or email:  lucy@masonmedia.co.uk

AFYA and Young Munster RFC

Shadowman and AFYA run first tackle camp for Young Munster RFC

Two of AFYA’s top coaches popped over to Ireland last week to help Shadowman Sports run the first specialised tackle camp for Young Munster RUFC.

Founded in 1895, Young Munster is a Rugby Union club based in Limerick.

Our coaches James Wade and Scott Pearson helped to run the Shadowman tackle camp for children aged between 7 and 13. Each child received specialised training using Shadowman’s innovative training products, which allow rugby players to develop their speed and agility plus their one-on-one tackling and tracking.

James Wade, Chief Operating Officer and Head of Training and Development for AFYA, said: “We had a fantastic time at Young Munster with over 210 enthusiastic children taking part.

“They were extremely receptive to the technical skills we introduced them to and they learnt a lot over the course of the day.

“We look forward to working with them again in the future.”

James Wade is also Head Coach at Oxford University RUFC while Scott Pearson has worked with Worcester Warriors, Stoke City and Sale Sharks in a number of key Strength and Conditioning roles.

www.afyasportstrg.com
http://www.youngmunster.com/
www.shadowmansports.com

AFYA announces launch of its International Rugby Academy

Fast growing AFYA Sports Training is expanding and has announced the launch of its International Rugby Academy.

The academy is being headed up by Director Juan Gonzalez-Mendia, a RFU Level 3 and World Rugby Level 3 Coach, who has coached various age groups at County level, the North of England and has been part of the England coaching staff at U16 age group.

Juan will work with James Wade, AFYA’s co-founder and Chief Operating Officer, to provide a unique and integrated approach giving players and coaches the opportunity to develop their skills and coaching techniques.

The Academy is a worldwide offering and AFYA will be working with a number of its key partners to deliver it.

Ben Wood, AFYA’s Managing Director, said: “We’re delighted to welcome Juan on board. He is an exceptional coach who has a great empathy with the children and young adults that are coming through our sports programmes.

“His knowledge of rugby, his coaching ability and his international connections with schools, academies and clubs make the AFYA International Rugby Academy an exciting proposition.

“Already, teams from as far afield as Argentina and Italy have expressed an interest in coming to our British camps.”

Juan said: “Joining AFYA and directing the International Rugby Academy will be a fantastic challenge which will combine my previous experiences working with overseas children and adults in what is undoubtedly a unique and exclusive product worldwide.”

AFYA was founded in 2013 by Ben Wood, a former Army officer and qualified RFU coach, and James Wade, a top coach who was Head of Player Development at Wasps, Head of Sale Sharks Academy and is currently Head Coach at Oxford University RUFC (The Blues).

AFYA, which means ‘Health and Wellbeing’ in Swahili with its Tribal symbol standing for ‘The Quality in Human Endeavour’, is headquartered on the Wirral, and regularly works with top level talent including rugby legends Charlie Hodgson, Shaun Edwards, Andy Titterrell, Kati Tuipulotu, Nick Wood and Chris Jones.

The company has partnered with Nuffield Health, MBNA, the Bank of America and M&S to provide the children of their staff with dedicated sports camps.

Earlier this month, AFYA also announced a partnership with the tackling equipment provider Shadowman Sports.

AFYA will use the Shadowman training tools in the UK to promote better rugby coaching techniques to rugby clubs and the sport’s governing bodies. AFYA will also be offering coaching packages and clinics using Shadowman.

As part of the partnership, AFYA will be taking Northern Hemisphere rugby tackling techniques to America. The company will be running a series of rugby tackle camps across the east coast in the latter half of 2017.

Pupils at leading girls school tackling rugby with help of AFYA

AFYA is delighted to be working with pupils from a leading independent girls’ school.

Girls at The Queen’s School in Chester are being offered weekly rugby lessons through its Fitness For All initiative.

The school, which recently invested £500,000 in a new state-of-the-art gymnasium and sports hall, is keen for girls to try an expanding range of sports as well as the more traditional netball, hockey and lacrosse on offer.

The Queen’s School Head of Sport Miss Gemma Glynn said: “At the heart of the school’s Fitness For All strategy is the idea that we need to encourage all of our pupils – whether they see themselves as sporty or not – to take up some sort of activity.

“For some, our traditional sports like hockey, tennis and athletics will be a perfect fit; for others we have introduced new sports like tag rugby, fencing and tai chi along with yoga, Zumba and Pilates.

“We’ve found that offering girls the opportunity to try lots of different activities in a relaxed environment with their friends is key to improving participation levels.

“We also firmly believe that a healthy body equals a healthy mind and that girls who are fit and healthy do better academically.”

The Queen’s School has three bespoke sports facilities at the Senior School site including a fitness suite, fitness studio and a new sports hall as well as improved changing facilities.

We are working with The Queen’s School pupils from year 7 upwards. Team sports such as rugby have a great deal to offer girls and the recent success of the England Women team winning the Rugby World Cup has been inspirational.

We’re finding that a lot of our rugby playing girls, who have traditionally played netball, have excellent hand-eye coordination. They are also very technical and competitive, which means they have taken to rugby straight away. We have some real stars in the making.