Sporting students put Steelbacks to the test

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Students from the University of Northampton put first class county cricketers through their paces in a pre-season fitness testing session.

Northamptonshire County Cricket Club’s senior squad visited Waterside campus on, Monday 15 November, so players could have their fitness levels assessed prior to the start of winter training.

The players underwent a morning of physical profiling and fitness test exercises, which were conducted by Sports Science and Sports Rehabilitation & Conditioning undergraduates, and Strength & Conditioning postgraduate students.

The data collected will be used by the Steelbacks’ backroom staff, to help them prepare individual training regimes for each player.

Chris Lorkin, the club’s head of strength and conditioning, said: “It was great to get the players back in for their physical profiling and testing.

“Having the link and partnership with the University of Northampton is priceless in this regard, allowing us to measure and analyse all aspects of our players’ physical performance.

“The facilities and equipment on campus let us dive deep into the bodies of our athletes so we can drive their performance forward on the pitch, using the results to shape their physical program throughout the winter. The data will highlight the key areas for players to work on over the coming months so we’re fit and firing come the start of the season.”

Chris added: “It’s great to have the students involved and hopefully they enjoyed working with our athletes. The hard work starts now as we look to ramp training up in the coming weeks and I’m looking forward to getting going with the players.”

Student, Aidan Bhambhami, said: “Working with the county cricketers was a great experience as it provided me with an opportunity to work with a different athletic population and learn to develop within a new environment. Different populations present new challenges, but the friendly and light atmosphere around the performance testing ensured that I felt confident throughout the session to undertake the required testing for the athletes.”

He added: “Once I have graduated, I would like to start working within a sport as a strength and conditioning coach or as a sport scientist. Working with athletes has always been an aim since undergraduate studies and, with the constant experience being gained with different populations, I would be open to working within multiple different sports whilst broadening my knowledge and application throughout.”

The link up with the cricket club is the latest working partnership the students have benefitted from. Over the summer, they also assessed the fitness levels of players from Northampton Town Football Club and MK Lightning ice hockey side.

The University’s Applied Sport Scientist, Luke Callis, said: “Being able to bring first class professional athletes onto campus shows how sport is growing at the University.

“Through our partnerships with Northamptonshire County Cricket Club and other local organisations we are able to expose our students to unique real-world experiences which will prove invaluable in their development and future progressions.

“Our students were excellent ambassadors for the University and we look forward to strengthening our relationship with NCCC in the future.”