Kent County Cricket Club?s first team players were put to the test by University of Kent at Medway staff and students in a pre-season fitness session.
The county squad ? which is gearing up for the first competitive match of the new season on 18 April ? took part in a training day run by the University?s Centre for Sports Studies at the St Lawrence Ground.
University staff ran fitness tests and collected data to measure the all-round fitness of players including Kent captain Rob Key, wicket keeper Geraint Jones, batsman Matt Walker and pace bowler Martin Saggers. As well as undergoing assessments for endurance, running speeds, muscle flexibility, body fat ratios and heart beat frequency, players were able to use the University?s specialised training equipment, which forms a vital part of the various sports and fitness degree programmes run at the Medway campus.
Staff from the University?s Centre for Sports Studies also compiled a statistical report on each cricketer?s fitness levels, which can be used to draw up a tailor-made training programme for each individual.
Final-year students on the Sports Therapy, Health and Fitness course at Medway, plus two students studying for their Master?s qualifications in Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation, worked alongside lecturers in running the tests.
Deputy Director for the University?s Centre for Sports Studies Jane Glew teamed up with Kent?s First Team Coach Simon Willis to organise the session. ?It?s the first time we have run an event like this for Kent?s players and there was very positive feedback from many of the squad,? Ms Glew said. ?Some were interested in the methods were using ? for instance, in heart beat monitoring ? and wanted to know all about it.
?Such initiatives can only enhance the reputation of the University of Kent at Medway, both from an academic and research perspective, and also in terms of the student experience. The students who took part would have benefited hugely from working with elite athletes in a professional sporting environment.?
Ms Glew added that the Kent players rose to the challenges set for them. ?It is clear there is a great team spirit. The players supported one another through the tests but also displayed a highly competitive edge, which must be good for the club,? she said.