Football camp tests youngsters

A GROUP of young footballers brought their nervous parents with them as they underwent an exhausting fitness session with military-style instructors.

A GROUP of young footballers brought their nervous parents with them as they underwent an exhausting fitness session with military-style instructors.

Members of Sproughton Youth Football Club were put through their paces in a boot camp run by the Fitness Unit, a personal training company based in Ipswich, in the hope their hard work will pay off on the pitch.

Twenty children, some with parents in tow, were given an intensive work-out by instructors in camouflage gear and army boots at Humber Doucy Lane, home of Ipswich Wanderers FC,.

Glenn Hoddy, under-12s Falcons assistant manager, said: “We are very passionate about our football but what we wanted to do was to give the players a different sort of football with the fitness side of things.

“It was a really good session. The kids enjoyed it. They found it hard work, a lot harder than what they thought it was going to be. But when they finished the hour the instructors were quite surprised because the boys went off to play football.

“Actually I think the kids outshone the parents. Some of the parents still ache, while the kids are out playing football. The parents were trying their best to compete against the kids but we didn't succeed.”

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Members of the under-12 and under-13 teams took part in the hour-long session with two Fitness Unit instructors. And Mr Hoddy said their military get-up was not just for show.

He said: “The first half-hour was the warm-up and it was like doing an entrance exam for the armed forces.

“They were very strict, stricter than the football coaches. If we did not listen or did not continue doing what they asked it was an extra 10 press ups or star jumps.

“I think the players have done very well. They really enjoyed the day, they were tired afterwards but we are hoping they will continue with it.”

The club's five teams, which range from under-12 to under-16 level, train once a week for an hour, with games on Saturdays, so there is not much time for fitness work.

Mr Hoddy arranged the work-out to show the players what they can be doing at home to improve their game, and to encourage their parents to help them keep fit.

Some of the children have told their coaches they are still doing sit-ups and press-ups in their bedrooms, while others are skipping in the garden to increase their fitness levels.

Sally Brobbin, club secretary, who also took part, said the event had been a big success. She said: “Glenn Hoddy has brought some new ideas into our club since he arrived this year, finding different ways of engaging with the boys.

“It is not something that we would normally get involved in. I have to say to say we knew that we had done an hour's work by the end of it.

“I said to Glenn a few days later: 'Thanks for setting up the work-out - I now only ache when I laugh or go up and down stairs!'”.

Mr Hoddy said: “I think a big thank-you goes out to the Fitness Unit but the biggest one goes out to the players who turned up and 100 per cent in.”

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