New gym for Sunshine girls
National netball teams will now be able to fully incorporate strength and aerobic exercises into their training regime with the recent setting up of a fully stocked gym inside the National Stadium complex.
The facility, which is being housed in a room provided by Independence Park Limited (IPL) inside the National Stadium itself, boasts a number of equipment such as treadmills, total gym machines and exercise bicycles, made available by the Bank of Jamaica (BOJ) and Food for the Poor at an undisclosed value, with significant support also coming from Sagicor and IPL.
The gym will primarily be used to condition the national senior and Under-21 outfits and will be maintained by the JNA and BOJ.
The administration is presently putting together a business plan that may see the facility being utilised as a possible revenue earner for the cash-strapped association.
Jamaica Netball Association (JNA) boss Marva Bernard could not contain her excitement at the development and expressed confidence that the facility, which she described as a long time ambition of the association, will have a direct result in the performances of the national teams.
“For years we have recognised that the girls needed strength training to assist in their overall preparations and competitiveness. We are very proud that we are now at the stage where we can say that we have our own gym. This will help us to make sure that we give the girls every opportunity to give of their best and represent their country to the very best of their ability,” beamed Bernard.
However, strength training is not an entirely new concept to local netball, as members of the national senior team once benefitted from a programme offered by the Spartan gym.
This, however, proved to be a costly and impractical undertaking to the JNA and was eventually discontinued by the administration.
Bernard explained: “We used to get support from facilities such as Spartan but that arrangement didn’t really work out for us. Primarily because it cost a lot to transport all the girls from their workplaces all over Kingston to the gym and back to training, plus it was not accessible to all the girls.
“In June of last year immediately after we played Australia, my coaching staff again pointed out that we need to be able to incorporate strength training into our programme. So we approached the Food for the Poor for some assistance and they came on board and provided some equipment. We also heard that BOJ would have some available and so we approached them and they agreed to help.we are most grateful for their assistance and of course that of IPL which has been extremely supportive,” pointed out Bernard.
National winger Sasher-Gaye Henry could hardly wait to get started in the new gym and welcomed the new addition to her preparations.
“I think it’s extremely important to have the gym at our disposal and it also makes it a lot easier to have it here at the Stadium where it is extremely accessible to us. It’s very important not just from a strength training perspective, but it will also help us in maintaining a certain weight, cardiovascular training and also towards toning, so we are all very excited about it,” said Henry, who plays for Police ‘A’ in the Berger Paints Super League.