Horsham College and West Vic Sports Academy providing elite sports experience

COACH: Chris Radford talks to Horsham College students about how to develop the strength to excel at their chosen sports. Picture: STUART McGUCKIN
COACH: Chris Radford talks to Horsham College students about how to develop the strength to excel at their chosen sports. Picture: STUART McGUCKIN

West Vic Academy of Sport representatives have taught Horsham College students about strength and conditioning during workshops on Friday.

Chris Radford, a former Horsham College student, put youngsters enrolled in the college’s peak performance program through a series of warm-up exercises and stretches to educate them about injury prevention.

He then took the groups through some basic work-out routines at the college’s on-site training space.

Radford now works with the Western Bulldogs as well as the academy while managing his own sports development business based in Ballarat.

“We took the students through the basics of what strength and conditioning is,” he said.

“It was about warming up, some landing mechanics and some deceleration stuff.

“Then it was about going through some strength work which they have been slowly progressing through in their elite performances classes.

If athletes only do their sport they will plateau at a certain level, to get to the next stage they need to work on becoming stronger, more powerful and more explosive.”

Those athletes were also put through skeletal and muscular screenings on Friday.

The screenings were a chance for the athletes to be given feedback about areas they may need to focus on in order to prevent injuries and manage their own bodies.

If athletes only do their sport they will plateau at a certain level, to get to the next stage they need to work on becoming stronger, more powerful and more explosive.

Chris Radford

West Vic Academy of Sport executive officer Corey Saitta the screenings were vital because of the remote nature of the academy’s program.

“It’s very important an athlete has a thorough understanding of their own physiology and what they can do within their own control to address any shortcomings that they may have,” he said.

“There are some things that you can’t change because you are born with them but there are other things like posture and muscular-skeletal structures that you can work on to improve.

“That all value-adds to the way you can train and how you pull up from training – it’s not just a maintenance strategy, it enables the athletes to remain flexible, pain free and out on the ground.”

Horsham College year 10 peak-performance teacher Rod Kirkwood said he had already seen benefits from the partnership in its first year in his role as liaison between the college and academy.

“The partnership has allowed us to expose the students to elite coaches and facilities,” he said.

“Here at the school we have a training facility where the students can train five periods a week.

“It’s a great opportunity for our emerging athletes to train and we work with them as much as we can.”