By India Gay, Sports Editor
With the long, hot summer nearly over, many university sports teams have started to get back into shape with, sometimes gruelling, pre-season sessions.
Pre-season is essential for any athlete no matter what. Teams do not only improve their physical ability, but strength and conditioning also prevents common injuries such as sprains which often occur with inadequate training in the offseason.
At the University of Bristol, most teams, particularly those who have earned Performance Sport, take pre-season seriously with multiple sessions each day for two to three weeks before term starts. With coaches and personal trainers on hand, all teams who participate receive the best preparation that they can, to ensure a successful season in all sports and at all levels.
I spoke to multiple club captains who all discussed how their pre-seasons were panning out and how they were preparing for the new season.
Men’s Football’s Joe Williams said ‘it’s been a strong start with the numbers high and the intensity levels setting an optimistic precedence for the upcoming season. The tone and culture that we have created in these first sessions looks like the club could be even better this year.’
Likewise Women’s Football Club captain, Phoebe Tate, said ‘with the loss of many players due to graduation, its safe to say we have a tough season ahead of us. However, with the endless pre-season effort already being seen and the addition of strength and conditioning sessions I’m sure it will enhance our performance and help us construct the platform for women’s football that it thoroughly deserves.’
However, pre-season is not geographically limited to Bristol, demonstrated by men’s rugby who travelled to Cardiff to complete their annual sand dune fitness session.
When back on home turf, they are completing two gym sessions and an outdoor skills session each day. Club captain, Will Sharp said, ‘with over 80 people signing up for pre-season, the teams are sure to be fit for the upcoming friendly games and the new season.’
Second week of pre season finishing with the hardest day of them all... Sand Dunes! The boys worked hard this afternoon to earn their weekend off in preparation for Wednesday's fixture vs Birmingham! @UBRFC_1#wearebristol #preseason #fitness #ubrfc pic.twitter.com/C8CQnlq8CU— UBRFC (@UniBristolRFC) September 6, 2019
Meanwhile, women’s rugby is pushing to be a top sport this year and it is certainly reflected in their dedication to pre-season. UBWRFC’s Frankie Woolfe said, ‘we have been working really hard building up for the season ahead with challenging rugby sessions alongside strength and conditioning four days a week.’
Men’s Lacrosse have received an unprecedented level of engagement for their pre-season this year with ‘nearly 40 players training twice a day since the 2nd September, the longest one to date.’ VC, James Clemetson, discussed the particular excitement around the upcoming season due to growing numbers and success of the club from last year.
Preparations are not only occurring on the pitch, but in the water also.
Swimming and water-polo club captain, Henry Redman, discussed how their pre-seasons schedule, with some members swimming up to 8 times a week, has been intense but just what they need in order to showcase to the new freshers the level of commitment. ‘Our first teams are looking to win the premier divisions of men’s and women’s BUCS and we’re hoping for the best for our brand new women’s third team!’
With facilities not as accessible as other sports, the University Boat’s Club finds pre-season as a great opportunity for rowers to get stuck into the sport at a stress free time of the year.
Club Captain, Anna Roe, highlighted the chance in pre-season to clock up miles on the water, put some hours in the weight rooms and to welcome any new first years who are keen to get involved.
The University hopes to maintain the successes of its clubs from last year, whilst continuing with the undeniable levels of enthusiasm, dedication and passion. With all clubs engaging fully with pre-season, there is already high hopes and an abundance of positivity as Bristol University move towards the new season.
Featured: Photo by UBWRFC
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