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Smyth hails Foyle Arena’s home comforts ahead of Paralympic title defence

08 September 2016

Jason Smyth pictured with Kevin Gallagher,strength and conditioning coachEglinton Sprinter Jason Smyth availed of the state of the art facilities on his doorstep in finalising his preparations to defend his Paralympic 100m T13 title in Rio later today. 

The 29 year-old was a regular visitor to the Strength and Conditioning Suite at Derry City and Strabane District Council’s Foyle Arena where specialist coach Kevin Gallagher supervised his preparations. 
“I’m based in Belfast now but when I was at home I was able to use the S&C facilities at the Foyle Arena,” he revealed. “It was great to have such a high quality facility on my doorstep as well as a specialist coach there in Kevin to supervise my training.

“As a sprinter my S&C programme is a crucial part of what I do. It is not only important from an injury prevention perspective but it gives me the strength and power needed to run fast.
“For the first time I feel I have been able to build my strength and power while I was at home. Hopefully this will stand me in good stead when my campaign begins later this week to defend my 100m T13 title at the Rio Paralympic Games.

“I’d have no hesitation in recommending the Foyle Arena’s Strength and Conditioning facilities to any local athletes who want to improve their performance and reach their potential.”
Coach Kevin Gallagher is an Everybody Active Coach at DCSDC and he admitted that having Smyth in the gym was an insightful experience.

Working with any athlete is an opportunity to learn as well as advise but obviously working with an elite sportsman at the top of his game like Jason was particularly informative,” he acknowledged.
“It was interesting to watch how an experienced athlete who has already achieved his goals in his sport sustains that high level and to get an idea about what drives someone to commit to another four years of sacrifice after pushing himself to the limit to win Paralympic gold in 2012.”

Kevin is offering local sports people a unique opportunity to enrol in an introductory 12 week Programme in Strength and Conditioning at the Foyle Arena’s facility.

An accredited S&C Coach, the former London Irish and Ulster rugby player is currently completing a Masters in the subject and will host a free workshop about the course at the Waterside facility on Tuesday September 20th at 7pm.

“What this course offers is a 12 week introduction to the training,” he said. “Athletes will notice improvements during that time but if they want to see the genuine benefits they will need to commit to it in the long term.

“It’s important to emphasise that while this is not a general fitness class but it is not exclusive to top level athletes either. It is open to sportspeople playing at any level who want to improve their performance in a specific discipline.”

For more information on the Strength and Conditioning Programme at the Foyle Arena contact Kevin Gallagher on 07872423751 or e mail [email protected].