By Calvin Chapman
Guyana Rugby Football Union (GRFU) Sevens Coach, Theo Henry, has called for his players to stay fit during the Covid-19 pandemic that has seen the widespread postponement of sports’ events and the exercise of social distancing, while noting that the terrible virus has given the National team more time to prepare for the upcoming season.
Henry, a former player, who has won a total of eight titles for Guyana, expressed delight to be afforded the opportunity to coach again at the national level following his recent reinstatement and he explained that it was a bitter-sweet appointment since he knew right off the bat that a lot of work had to be done in a short period to get the players ready.
“This is a serious pandemic, and taking all measure for safety is very important. During this time of social distancing, players still need to maintain fitness. The delayed sports schedules give us an opportunity to be better prepared in lieu of the amount of work that will be required for us to be viable hunters.The new executive got elected in February and right off the bat they had to prepare for a 15s tournament in two months. It was an uphill task because we weren’t playing any rugby locally and players weren’t match fit,” Henry explained.
The coach shared with Kaieteur sport that his reappointment as a national coach gives him mixed feelings, “Due to the fact that the sport is probably at its lowest point in the longest time. We have known about winning exclusively from 2006 to 2011 and again in 2014 and 2016.”
“Out of 14 years, eight of them we have been victorious in RANS (Rugby Americas North) and even the ones that we weren’t victorious we were twice bridesmaid, didn’t attend once and didn’t make the final thrice.
“It will be an uphill task trying to emulate that standard. It’s a fresh slate, nothing we did prior matters now. We can’t live on past performances. We were champions, we aren’t anymore, for the past few years we haven’t been. Our mindset will be different on how we prepare, we are no longer the hunted, we are the hunters.”
Henry is also a certified fitness trainer and based on the current situation he has called for GRFU players to stay fit with major emphasis to be placed on Endurance building.
He disclosed with Kaieteur sport that, “Gyms are closed so players got to do their own personal training to stay fit. I would say focus on long runs; endurance runs. Just do that because it will lay the foundation for when the rigorous training restarts. While the emphasis is on endurance runs, Chip in with some core work, like ab work inclusive of planking, various crunches, hyper extensions. Free hand squats, pulls ups and pushups are also useful exercises.”
Before the Covid-19 pandemic, Guyana were scheduled to play Trinidad & Tobago (T&T) next month at home in a 15s match but all rugby has been suspended by RAN.
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